SciPost Phys. 12, 154 (2022) ·
published 10 May 2022
We study the effects of strong inter-particle interaction on diffraction of a Bose-Einstein condensate of $^6Li_2$ molecules from a periodic potential created by pulses of a far detuned optical standing wave. For short pulses we observe the standard Kapitza-Dirac diffraction, with the contrast of the diffraction pattern strongly reduced for very large interactions due to interaction dependent loss processes. For longer pulses diffraction shows the characteristic for matter waves impinging on an array of tubes and coherent channeling transport. We observe a slowing down of the time evolution governing the population of the momentum modes caused by the strong atom interaction. A simple physical explanation of that slowing down is the phase shift caused by the self-interaction of the forming matter wave patterns inside the standing light wave. Simple 1D mean field simulations qualitatively capture the phenomenon, however to quantitatively reproduce the experimental results the molecular scattering length has to be multiplied by factor of 4.2. In addition, two contributions to interaction-dependent degradation of the coherent diffraction patterns were identified: (i) in-trap loss of molecules during the lattice pulse, which involves dissociation of Feshbach molecules into free atoms, as confirmed by radio-frequency spectroscopy and (ii) collisions between different momentum modes during separation. This was confirmed by interferometrically recombining the diffracted momenta into the zero-momentum peak, which consequently removed the scattering background.
Chen Li, Tianwei Zhou, Igor Mazets, Hans-Peter Stimming, Frederik S. Møller, Zijie Zhu, Yueyang Zhai, Wei Xiong, Xiaoji Zhou, Xuzong Chen, Jörg Schmiedmayer
SciPost Phys. 9, 058 (2020) ·
published 22 October 2020
We study ultra-cold bosons out of equilibrium in a one-dimensional (1D) setting and probe the breaking of integrability and the resulting relaxation at the onset of the crossover from one to three dimensions. In a quantum Newton's cradle type experiment, we excite the atoms to oscillate and collide in an array of 1D tubes and observe the evolution for up to 4.8 seconds (400 oscillations) with minimal heating and loss. By investigating the dynamics of the longitudinal momentum distribution function and the transverse excitation, we observe and quantify a two-stage relaxation process. In the initial stage single-body dephasing reduces the 1D densities, thus rapidly drives the 1D gas out of the quantum degenerate regime. The momentum distribution function asymptotically approaches the distribution of quasimomenta (rapidities), which are conserved in an integrable system. In the subsequent long time evolution, the 1D gas slowly relaxes towards thermal equilibrium through the collisions with transversely excited atoms. Moreover, we tune the dynamics in the dimensional crossover by initializing the evolution with different imprinted longitudinal momenta (energies). The dynamical evolution towards the relaxed state is quantitatively described by a semiclassical molecular dynamics simulation.
Dr Li: "We thank the Referee for her /..."
in Submissions | report on Diffraction of strongly interacting molecular Bose-Einstein condensate from standing wave light pulses