Collapse and revival of an ultra-cold few-atom state

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 – 3:15pm – 4:15pm
Reiss 502
Eite Tiesinga
Joint Quantum Institute, NIST and University of Maryland, Gaithersburg

I will explain some of our recent modeling of experiments that loaded an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate into a three-dimensional optical lattice. In an optical lattice, a periodic trap for atoms, the condensate is divided into tens of thousands independent few-atom coherent states that collapse and revive in time in a characteristic manner.

We show that virtual excitations to higher vibrational states of a site of an optical lattice generate effective, tunable three-body interactions. These effective processes can quickly decohere coherent states held in lattices, possibly explaining the rapid damping of collapse and revival oscillations seen in experiments. We predict longer period, secondary revivals associated with the three-body interactions.

Host: Jim Freericks
Discussion Leader: Jim Freericks