Cooling in strongly correlated optical lattices: Prospects and challenges

D. C. McKay, B. DeMarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical lattices have emerged as ideal simulators for Hubbard models of strongly correlated materials, such as the high-temperature superconducting cuprates. In optical lattice experiments, microscopic parameters such as the interaction strength between particles are well known and easily tunable. Unfortunately, this benefit of using optical lattices to study Hubbard models comes with one clear disadvantage: the energy scales in atomic systems are typically nanokelvin compared with kelvin in solids, with a correspondingly miniscule temperature scale required to observe exotic phases such as d-wave superconductivity. The ultra-low temperatures necessary to reach the regime in which optical lattice simulation can have an impact - the domain in which our theoretical understanding fails - have been a barrier to progress in this field. To move forward, a concerted effort is required to develop new techniques for cooling and, by extension, techniques to measure even lower temperatures. This paper will be devoted to discussing the concepts of cooling and thermometry, fundamental sources of heat in optical lattice experiments, and a review of proposed and implemented thermometry and cooling techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054401
JournalReports on Progress in Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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