Mordini, Carmelo (2019) *Measurement of the density profile of quantized vortices and of the equation of state in a 3D interacting Bose gas.* PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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## Abstract

In this thesis I present two different research topics investigated during the course of my PhD, regarding the analysis of spatial structures in a Bose Einstein condensate. Ultracold atomic gases offer a privileged platform for such kind of experiments, thanks to the fine control that can be achieved on the system’s parameters and to the availability of advanced imaging schemes allowing for a great measurement accuracy. The first topic is about the shape of quantized vortices in an elongated condensate, with the goal of providing a quantitative analysis of the density structure of a quantized vortex filament hosted in a bulk 3D superfluid. We analyzed the shape of the vortex and studied its dynamics during a free expansion, or time of flight (TOF), of the hosting BEC, with the goal of making a quantitative comparison between theory and experiment for the structure of the core of a quantized vortex in three-dimensional (3D) condensates. Simultaneously imaging the sample along orthogonal directions after a long TOF allowed to map the complete 3D shape of the vortex at the end of the free flight, while the full expansion dynamics has been simulated with numerical solutions of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. The same data analysis procedure has been applied to both the experimental images and to the density profiles computed with the simulations to ensure a faithful comparison. We were able to detail the evolution of the vortex parameters at all times combining a simple analytic scaling-law model valid at early times, experimental data for the width and the depth of the core at long expansion times, and the numerics that were used to bridge between the two. Additionally, we could check the validity of the predictions on the scaling of vortex parameters with the size of the BEC using the experimental data to interpolate between theoretical limiting models. We concluded that quantized vortex filaments can be optically imaged with standard techniques in 3D atomic BECs, at a level of accuracy which indeed is enough to show good quantitative agreement with the predictions of the GP theory for the width, depth, and overall shape of the vortex core. The second topic is a measurement of the equation of state of a single component BEC. The goal of this project is to verify the non-monotonic behaviour of the chemical potential of a homogeneous Bose gas of weakly interacting particles as a function of temperature, where one expects to find a maximum across the critical point of transition to the superfluid phase. This effect is believed to be a general feature of the normal-to-superfluid phase transition: it has been already experimentally demonstrated in unitary Fermi gases, and although the same is predicted to happen also in a gas of weakly interacting bosons, no experimental evidence has been reported so far. The measurement relies on the local density approximation, which allows to extract information about the thermodynamics of a homogeneous system from accurate measurements of the local properties of a trapped one. My work has focused on developing a series of imaging and data analysis techniques to measure the 3D density profile of a harmonically trapped gas, even in regimes of extreme density such as inside a Bose condensate. With a new high-dynamic-range method we were able to image the 3D density distribution of a trapped sample, leading to a low-noise measurement of the density distribution. We confirmed the existence of the non-monotonic behaviour of the chemicial potential across, and set the basis for further measurements of the thermodynamics of the system across the transition.In this thesis I present two different research topics investigated during the course of my PhD, regarding the analysis of spatial structures in a Bose Einstein condensate. Ultracold atomic gases offer a privileged platform for such kind of experiments, thanks to the fine control that can be achieved on the system’s parameters and to the availability of advanced imaging schemes allowing for a great measurement accuracy. The first topic is about the shape of quantized vortices in an elongated condensate, with the goal of providing a quantitative analysis of the density structure of a quantized vortex filament hosted in a bulk 3D superfluid. We analyzed the shape of the vortex and studied its dynamics during a free expansion, or time of flight (TOF), of the hosting BEC, with the goal of making a quantitative comparison between theory and experiment for the structure of the core of a quantized vortex in three-dimensional (3D) condensates. Simultaneously imaging the sample along orthogonal directions after a long TOF allowed to map the complete 3D shape of the vortex at the end of the free flight, while the full expansion dynamics has been simulated with numerical solutions of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. The same data analysis procedure has been applied to both the experimental images and to the density profiles computed with the simulations to ensure a faithful comparison. We were able to detail the evolution of the vortex parameters at all times combining a simple analytic scaling-law model valid at early times, experimental data for the width and the depth of the core at long expansion times, and the numerics that were used to bridge between the two. Additionally, we could check the validity of the predictions on the scaling of vortex parameters with the size of the BEC using the experimental data to interpolate between theoretical limiting models. We concluded that quantized vortex filaments can be optically imaged with standard techniques in 3D atomic BECs, at a level of accuracy which indeed is enough to show good quantitative agreement with the predictions of the GP theory for the width, depth, and overall shape of the vortex core. The second topic is a measurement of the equation of state of a single component BEC. The goal of this project is to verify the non-monotonic behaviour of the chemical potential of a homogeneous Bose gas of weakly interacting particles as a function of temperature, where one expects to find a maximum across the critical point of transition to the superfluid phase. This effect is believed to be a general feature of the normal-to-superfluid phase transition: it has been already experimentally demonstrated in unitary Fermi gases, and although the same is predicted to happen also in a gas of weakly interacting bosons, no experimental evidence has been reported so far. The measurement relies on the local density approximation, which allows to extract information about the thermodynamics of a homogeneous system from accurate measurements of the local properties of a trapped one. My work has focused on developing a series of imaging and data analysis techniques to measure the 3D density profile of a harmonically trapped gas, even in regimes of extreme density such as inside a Bose condensate. With a new high-dynamic-range method we were able to image the 3D density distribution of a trapped sample, leading to a low-noise measurement of the density distribution. We confirmed the existence of the non-monotonic behaviour of the chemicial potential across, and set the basis for further measurements of the thermodynamics of the system across the transition.

Item Type: | Doctoral Thesis (PhD) |
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Doctoral School: | Physics |

PhD Cycle: | 31 |

Subjects: | Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/03 FISICA DELLA MATERIA |

Repository Staff approval on: | 24 Jun 2019 10:51 |

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