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The long-range, anisotropic nature of the interaction among atoms in an ultracold dipolar gas leads to a rich array of possibilities for studying many-body physics. In this work, an ultracold gas of highly excited atoms is used to study energy transport due to the long-range dipole-dipole interaction. A technique is developed to measure both the internal energy states of the interacting Rydberg atoms and their positions in space. This technique is demonstrated by observing energy exchange between two spatially separated groups of Rydberg atoms excited to two different internal states. Simulations confirm the general features of the energy transport in this system and highlight subtleties associated with the homogeneity of the electric field used in this experiment.


Originally published in Physical Review A, 91, 062702. Copyright 2015, American Physical Society.