Oliver Thewalt

    Oliver Thewalt

    Theoretical Physics | Quantum Biology | Dark Matter Research | Energy Consulting | Creation of Hydrogen ATOM in the Higgs Field >> Vote for Nobel Prize

    Negative Temperatures in optical lattices

    Image Courtesy: LMU Munich/MPI Garching

    Negative Absolute Temperature for Motional Degrees of Freedom
    Simon Braun, Jens Philipp Ronzheimer, Michael Schreiber, Sean S. Hodgman, Tim Rom, Immanuel Bloch, Ulrich Schneider

    (Submitted on 2 Nov 2012)

    Absolute temperature, the fundamental temperature scale in thermodynamics, is usually bound to be positive. Under special conditions, however, negative temperatures - where high-energy states are more occupied than low-energy states - are also possible. So far, such states have been demonstrated in localized systems with finite, discrete spectra. Here, we were able to prepare a negative temperature state for motional degrees of freedom. By tailoring the Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian we created an attractively interacting ensemble of ultracold bosons at negative temperature that is stable against collapse for arbitrary atom numbers. The quasi-momentum distribution develops sharp peaks at the upper band edge, revealing thermal equilibrium and bosonic coherence over several lattice sites. Negative temperatures imply negative pressures and open up new parameter regimes for cold atoms, enabling fundamentally new many-body states and counterintuitive effects such as Carnot engines above unity efficiency