Critical Point of an Interacting Two-Dimensional Atomic Bose Gas

2007  Physical Review Letters   99   040402 

P. Kruger, Z. Hadzibabic, and J. Dalibard

Abstract: We have measured the critical atom number in an array of harmonically trapped two-dimensional (2D) Bose gases of rubidium atoms at different temperatures. We found this number to be about 5 times higher than predicted by the semiclassical theory of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in the ideal gas. This demonstrates that the conventional BEC picture is inapplicable in an interacting 2D atomic gas, in sharp contrast to the three-dimensional case. A simple heuristic model based on the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless theory of 2D superfluidity and the local density approximation accounts well for our experimental results.


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