Relevance of Bose-Einstein condensation to the interference of two independent Bose gases
Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Interference of two independently prepared ideal Bose gases is discussed, on the basis of the idea of measurement-induced interference: even if the number of each gas is individually fixed finite and the symmetry of the system is not broken, an interference pattern is observed on each single snapshot. The key role is played by the Hanbury Brown and Twiss effect, which leads to an oscillating pattern of the cloud of identical atoms. Then, how essential is the Bose-Einstein condensation to the
... erference? We describe the ideal Bose gases trapped respectively in two spatially separated 3D harmonic traps at a finite temperature as canonical ensembles with fixed numbers of atoms, and compute the full statistics of the snapshot profiles of the expanding and overlapping gases released from the traps. We obtain a simple formula, which shows that the average fringe spectrum (average fringe contrast) is given by the purity of each gas. The purity is known to be a good measure of condensation, and this result clarifies the relevance of the condensation to the interference. The fluctuation of the interference spectrum is also studied, and it is shown that the fluctuation is vanishingly small below the critical temperature, while it is nonvanishing above. This implies that interference pattern is certainly observed on every snapshot below the critical temperature. The fact that the number of atoms is fixed in the canonical ensemble is crucial to this vanishing fluctuation.