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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Dec 10;105(24):245702. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

Signature of quantum criticality in the density profiles of cold atom systems.

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Joint Quantum Institute and Condensed Matter Theory Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


In recent years, there has been considerable experimental effort using cold atoms to study strongly correlated many-body systems. One class of phenomena of particular interest is quantum critical (QC) phenomena. While prevalent in many materials, these phenomena pose notoriously difficult theoretical problems due to the vanishing of energy scales in the QC region. So far, there are no systematic ways to deduce the QC behavior of bulk systems from the data of trapped atomic gases. Here, we present a simple algorithm to use the experimental density profile to determine the T=0 phase boundary of bulk systems, as well as the scaling functions in the QC regime. We also present another scheme for removing finite-size effects of the trap. We demonstrate the validity of our schemes using exactly soluble models.

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