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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Sep 21;99(12):120405. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Boson Mott insulators at finite temperatures.

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Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, ENS, Université Pierre et Marie-Curie-Paris 6, Paris, France.


We discuss the finite temperature properties of ultracold bosons in optical lattices in the presence of an additional, smoothly varying potential, as in current experiments. Three regimes emerge in the phase diagram: a low-temperature Mott regime similar to the zero-temperature quantum phase, an intermediate regime where Mott insulator features persist, but where superfluidity is absent, and a thermal regime where features of the Mott insulator state have disappeared. We obtain the thermodynamic functions of the Mott phase in the latter cases. The results are used to estimate the temperatures achieved by adiabatic loading in current experiments. We point out the crucial role of the trapping potential in determining the final temperature, and suggest a scheme for further cooling by adiabatic decompression.

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