Dilute Fluid Governed by Quantum Fluctuations

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Understanding the effects of interactions in complex quantum systems beyond the mean-field paradigm constitutes a fundamental problem in physics. We show how the atom numbers and interactions in a Bose-Bose mixture can be tuned to cancel mean-field interactions completely. The resulting system is entirely governed by quantum fluctuations—specifically the Lee-Huang-Yang correlations. We derive an effective one-component Gross-Pitaevskii equation for this system, which is shown to be very accurate by comparison with a full two-component description. This allows us to show how the Lee-Huang-Yang correlation energy can be accurately measured using two powerful probes of atomic gases: collective excitations and radio-frequency spectroscopy. Importantly, the behavior of the system is robust against deviations from the atom number and interaction criteria for canceling the mean-field interactions. This shows that it is feasible to realize a setting where quantum fluctuations are not masked by mean-field forces, allowing investigations of the Lee-Huang-Yang correction at unprecedented precision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number173403
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018

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