Bose-Einstein in two -dimensional traps
The fact that two-dimensional interacting trapped systems do not undergo Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) in the thermodynamic limit, though rigorously proved, is somewhat mysterious because all relevant limiting cases (zero temperature, small atom numbers, noninteracting particles) suggest otherwise. We study the possibility of condensation in finite trapped two-dimensional systems.
We first consider the ideal gas, which incorporates the inhomogeneity and finite size of experimental systems and can be solved exactly. A semiclassical self-consistent approximation gives us a feel for the temperature scales; diagonalization of the one-body density matrix confirms that the condensation is into a single state. We squeeze a three-dimensional system and see how it crosses over into two dimensions.
Mean-field theory, our main tool for the study of interacting systems, prescribes coupled equations for the condensate and the thermal cloud: the condensate receives a full quantum-mechanical treatment, while the noncondensate is described by different schemes of varying sophistication. We analyze the T = 0 case and its approach to the thermodynamic limit, finding a criterion for the dimensionality crossover and obtaining the coupling constant of the two-dimensional system that results from squeezing a three-dimensional trap.
We next apply a semiclassical Hartree-Fock approximation to purely two-dimensional finite gases and find that they can be described either with or without a condensate; this continues to be true in the thermodynamic limit. The condensed solutions have a lower free energy at all temperatures but neglect the presence of phonons within the system and cease to exist when we allow for this possibility. The uncondensed solutions, in turn, are valid under a more rigorous scheme but have consistency problems of their own.
Path-integral Monte Carlo simulations provide an essentially exact description of finite interacting gases and enable us to study highly anisotropic systems at finite temperature. We find that our two-dimensional Hartree-Fock solutions accurately mimic the surface density profile and predict the condensate fraction of these systems; the equivalent interaction parameter is smaller than that dictated by the T = 0 analysis.
We conclude that, in two-dimensional isotropic finite trapped systems and in highly compressed three-dimensional gases, there is a phenomenon resembling a condensation into a single state.