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Dynamics of Quenched Ultracold Quantum Gases

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 2:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA X317

Speaker Name(s): 

John P. Corson

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

JILA, Bohn group
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • JILA Thesis Defense

Event Details & Abstract: 

Recent advances in the tunability of ultracold atomic gases have created opportunities for studying interesting quantum many-body systems. Fano-Feshbach resonances, in particular, allow experimenters to freely adjust the scattering of atoms by controlling an external magnetic field. By rapidly changing this field near a resonance, it is possible to drive systems out of equilibrium towards novel quantum states where correlations between atoms change dynamically. In this thesis, we take a wave-function-based approach to theoretically examine the response of several interesting systems to suddenly-switched, or "quenched", interactions.

We first calculate the time evolution of a Bose-Einstein condensate that is quenched to the unitarity regime, where the scattering length 'a' diverges. Working within the time-dependent variational formalism, we find that the condensate does not deplete as quickly as the usual Bogoliubov theory would suggest. We also make a quantitative prediction for the dynamics of short-range pair correlations, encoded in Tan's contact. We then consider the dynamics of these correlations for quenches to small 'a', and we find that bound states can cause high-contrast oscillations of the contact. These dynamics can be modelled quantitatively at short times by using a properly-chosen two-body model. Finally, we characterize the nonlocal correlation waves that are generated by an interaction quench in arbitrary dimensionality. Our analysis demonstrates that the large-momentum limit of the post-quench momentum distribution can sometimes include contributions from both the short range and the long range, depending on the quench protocol.