ABSTRACT: Measurement techniques based upon the Hall effect are invaluable tools in condensed-matter physics. When an electric current flows perpendicular to a magnetic field, a Hall voltage develops in the direction transverse to both the current and the field. In semiconductors, this behavior is routinely used to measure the density and charge of the current carriers (electrons in conduction bands or holes in valence bands)--internal properties of the system that are not accessible from measurements of the conventional resistance. For strongly interacting electron systems, whose behavior can be very different from the free electron gas, the Hall effect's sensitivity to internal properties makes it a powerful tool; indeed, the quantum Hall effects are named after the tool by which they are most distinctly measured instead of the physics from which the phenomena originate. Here we report the first observation of a Hall effect in an ultracold gas of neutral atoms, revealed by measuring a Bose-Einstein condensate's transport properties perpendicular to a synthetic magnetic field. Our observations in this vortex-free superfluid are in good agreement with hydrodynamic predictions, demonstrating that the system's global irrotationality influences this superfluid Hall signal.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2012; 109(27):10811-4. · 9.68 Impact Factor