Chapter

Advances in Solid State Physics

Volume 47 of the series Advances in Solid State Physics pp 79-88

Criticality and Correlations in Cold Atomic Gases

  • Michael KöhlAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH ZürichDepartment of Physics, University of Cambridge
  • , Tobias DonnerAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich
  • , Stephan RitterAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich
  • , Thomas BourdelAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH ZürichLaboratoire Charles Fabry de l’institut d’Optique, CNRS, Univ Paris-Sud
  • , Anton ÖttlAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH ZürichDepartment of Physics, University of California
  • , Ferdinand BrenneckeAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich
  • , Tilman EsslingerAffiliated withInstitute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich

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Abstract

We study the phase transition of Bose—Einstein condensation in a dilute atomic gas very close to the critical temperature. The critical regime we enter is governed by fluctuations extending far beyond the length scale of thermal de-Broglie waves. Using matter-wave interference we measure the correlation length of these critical fluctuations as a function of temperature. From this we determine the critical exponent of the correlation length for a trapped, weakly interacting Bose gas to be v = 0.67 ± 0.13.