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Journal Article

Thermometry of ultracold atoms via nonequilibrium work distributions


Clark,  Stephen R.
Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, United Kingdom;
Keble College, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PG, United Kingdom;
Department of Physics, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom;
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Johnson, T. H., Cosco, F., Mitchison, M. T., Jaksch, D., & Clark, S. R. (2016). Thermometry of ultracold atoms via nonequilibrium work distributions. Physical Review A, 93(5): 053619. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.053619.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-2D24-7
Estimating the temperature of a cold quantum system is difficult. Usually one measures a well-understood thermal state and uses that prior knowledge to infer its temperature. In contrast, we introduce a method of thermometry that assumes minimal knowledge of the state of a system and is potentially nondestructive. Our method uses a universal temperature dependence of the quench dynamics of an initially thermal system coupled to a qubit probe that follows from the Tasaki-Crooks theorem for nonequilibrium work distributions. We provide examples for a cold-atom system, in which our thermometry protocol may retain accuracy and precision at subnano-Kelvin temperatures.