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Finite-temperature models of Bose-Einstein condensation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nikolaos ProukakisORCiD


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The theoretical description of trapped weakly interacting Bose-Einstein condensates is characterized by a large number of seemingly very different approaches which have been developed over the course of time by researchers with very distinct backgrounds. Newcomers to this field, experimentalists and young researchers all face a considerable challenge in navigating through the 'maze' of abundant theoretical models, and simple correspondences between existing approaches are not always very transparent. This tutorial provides a generic introduction to such theories, in an attempt to single out common features and deficiencies of certain 'classes of approaches' identified by their physical content, rather than their particular mathematical implementation. This tutorial is structured in a manner accessible to a non-specialist with a good working knowledge of quantum mechanics. Although some familiarity with concepts of quantum field theory would be an advantage, key notions, such as the occupation number representation of second quantization, are nonetheless briefly reviewed. Following a general introduction, the complexity of models is gradually built up, starting from the basic zero-temperature formalism of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. This structure enables readers to probe different levels of theoretical developments (mean field, number conserving and stochastic) according to their particular needs. In addition to its 'training element', we hope that this tutorial will prove useful to active researchers in this field, both in terms of the correspondences made between different theoretical models, and as a source of reference for existing and developing finite-temperature theoretical models.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Proukakis NP, Jackson B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Year: 2008

Volume: 41

Issue: 20

ISSN (print): 0953-4075

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6455


DOI: 10.1088/0953-4075/41/20/203002