Monday, October 19, 2009

Entropy Exchange in a Mixture of Ultracold Atoms

By J. Catani, G. Barontini, G. Lamporesi, F. Rabatti, G. Thalhammer, F. Minardi, S. Stringari, and M. Inguscio

We investigate experimentally the entropy transfer between two distinguishable atomic quantum gases at ultralow temperatures. Exploiting a species-selective trapping potential, we are able to control the entropy of one target gas in presence of a second auxiliary gas. With this method, we drive the target gas into the degenerate regime in conditions of controlled temperature by transferring entropy to the auxiliary gas. We envision that our method could be useful both to achieve the low entropies required to realize new quantum phases and to measure the temperature of atoms in deep optical lattices. We verified the thermalization of the two species in a 1D lattice.