- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Phase transitions, as the condensation of a gas to a liquid, are often revealed by a discontinuous behaviour of thermodynamic quantities. For liquid helium, for example, a divergence of the specific heat signals the transition from the normal fluid to the superfluid state. Apart from liquid helium, determining the specific heat of a Bose gas has proven to be a challenging task, for example, for ultracold atomic Bose gases. Here we examine the thermodynamic behaviour of a trapped two-dimensional photon gas, a system that allows us to spectroscopically determine the specific heat and the entropy of a nearly ideal Bose gas from the classical high temperature to the Bose-condensed quantum regime. The critical behaviour at the phase transition is clearly revealed by a cusp singularity of the specific heat. Regarded as a test of quantum statistical mechanics, our results demonstrate a quantitative agreement with its predictions at the microscopic level Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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