Probing the Hubbard Model With Single-Site Resolution

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Probing the Hubbard Model With Single-Site Resolution

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Title: Probing the Hubbard Model With Single-Site Resolution
Author: Parsons, Maxwell F. ORCID  0000-0003-3439-5656
Citation: Parsons, Maxwell F. 2016. Probing the Hubbard Model With Single-Site Resolution. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: Strongly-correlated electron systems generate some of the richest phenomena and most challenging theoretical problems studied in physics. One approach to understanding these systems is with ultracold fermionic atoms in optical lattices, which can provide a level of control and ways of observing strongly-correlated fermionic systems that are not accessible with conventional materials. This thesis describes the development of an experimental technique where a quantum gas of fermionic 6Li atoms is prepared in a two-dimensional optical lattice and each atom can be frozen in place and imaged with single-site resolution. Combining a vacuum-compatible large numerical aperture microscope with Raman sideband cooling enables site-resolved fluorescence imaging with high fidelity. We observe several phases of the Hubbard model, including band and Mott insulators.

The observed in-situ occupation distributions of atoms in the lattice are compared to theory with unprecedented detail and are used to determine the thermodynamic properties of the system. By combining site-resolved imaging with a spin-removal technique, we observe antiferromagnetic correlations in the Hubbard model with single-site resolution. We observe, for the first time in cold atom systems, beyond-nearest-neighbor magnetic correlations, which provide a direct measurement of the correlation length. We also present detailed measurements of the formation of correlations during lattice loading.
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