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Science. 2019 Jan 25;363(6425):379-382. doi: 10.1126/science.aat4134. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Bad metallic transport in a cold atom Fermi-Hubbard system.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
2
Département de Physique, Institut Quantique, and Regroupement Québécois sur les Matériaux de Pointe, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec J1K 2R1, Canada.
3
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z8, Canada.
4
Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
5
Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
6
Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. wbakr@princeton.edu.

Abstract

Strong interactions in many-body quantum systems complicate the interpretation of charge transport in such materials. To shed light on this problem, we study transport in a clean quantum system: ultracold lithium-6 in a two-dimensional optical lattice, a testing ground for strong interaction physics in the Fermi-Hubbard model. We determine the diffusion constant by measuring the relaxation of an imposed density modulation and modeling its decay hydrodynamically. The diffusion constant is converted to a resistivity by using the Nernst-Einstein relation. That resistivity exhibits a linear temperature dependence and shows no evidence of saturation, two characteristic signatures of a bad metal. The techniques we developed in this study may be applied to measurements of other transport quantities, including the optical conductivity and thermopower.

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PMID:
30523078
DOI:
10.1126/science.aat4134

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