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Abstract: We propose a method for measuring the temperature of strongly correlatedphases of ultracold atom gases confined in spin-dependent optical lattices. Inthis technique, a small number of -impurity- atoms-trapped in a state thatdoes not experience the lattice potential-are in thermal contact with atomsbound to the lattice. The impurity serves as a thermometer for the systembecause its temperature can be straightforwardly measured using time-of-flightexpansion velocity. This technique may be useful for resolving many openquestions regarding thermalization in these isolated systems. We discuss thetheory behind this method and demonstrate proof-of-principle experiments,including the first realization of a 3D spin-dependent lattice in the stronglycorrelated regime.

Author: D. McKay, B. DeMarco


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