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Fluctuations and quantum criticality in the two-dimensional Bose Hubbard model



At a quantum phase transition, one ground state evolves into a different one by passing through a quantum critical region with enhanced spatial and temporal fluctuations. A method to map the quantum critical region using the single, local quantity R, the ratio of compressibility to local number fluctuations is proposed. R can be calculated from in situ experiments and also enables thermometry and phase diagnosis (for example whether superfluid or Mott insulating). The definition of R can be generalized to inhomogeneous systems and provides a powerful tool for experimentally mapping the finite temperature phase diagram demonstrated here for the two-dimensional Bose Hubbard model.