We use a momentum-space hole-burning technique implemented via stimulated Raman transitions to measure the momentum relaxation time for a gas of bosonic atoms trapped in an optical lattice. By changing the lattice potential depth, we observe a smooth crossover between relaxation times larger and smaller than the bandwidth. The latter condition violates the Mott-Ioffe-Regel bound and indicates a breakdown of the quasiparticle picture. We produce a simple kinetic model that quantitatively predicts these relaxation times. Finally, we introduce a cooling technique based upon our hole-burning technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics