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Fresh news from Flatland: Testing scale invariance in the lab

March 25, 2019 - 11:00am
Jean Dalibard
Laboratoire Kastler Brossel and Collège de France

A fluid is said to be scale-invariant when its interaction and kinetic energies have the same scaling in a dilatation operation. This symmetry, in association with the more general conformal invariance, has profound consequences on the equilibrium properties of the fluid as well as its dynamics. 

In this talk, I will present recent experimental investigations of this phenomenon using an initially uniform, two-dimensional gas of rubidium atoms that is suddenly immersed in a harmonic potential. I will show an unexpected result for this setup: There exist specific initial shapes that lead to a periodic evolution of the system, corresponding to "breathers" of the two-dimensional Gross-Pitaevskii equation. I will conclude with a possible generalization of such phenomena to other scale invariant fluids.  

ATL 2400