Dynamic Tunneling of Ultra-Cold Atoms

Hensinger, W K, Häffner, H, Browaeys, A, Heckenberg, N R, Helmerson, K, McKenzie, C, Milburn, G J, Phillips, W D, Rolston, S L, Rubinsztein-Dunlop, H and Upcroft, B (2001) Dynamic Tunneling of Ultra-Cold Atoms. Nature, 412. pp. 52-55. ISSN 0028-0836

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The divergence of quantum and classical descriptions of particle motion is clearly apparent in quantum tunnelling1, 2 between two regions of classically stable motion. An archetype of such non-classical motion is tunnelling through an energy barrier. In the 1980s, a new process, 'dynamical' tunnelling1, 2, 3, was predicted, involving no potential energy barrier; however, a constant of the motion (other than energy) still forbids classically the quantum-allowed motion. This process should occur, for example, in periodically driven, nonlinear hamiltonian systems with one degree of freedom4, 5, 6. Such systems may be chaotic, consisting of regions in phase space of stable, regular motion embedded in a sea of chaos. Previous studies predicted4 dynamical tunnelling between these stable regions. Here we observe dynamical tunnelling of ultracold atoms from a Bose-Einstein condensate in an amplitude-modulated optical standing wave. Atoms coherently tunnel back and forth between their initial state of oscillatory motion (corresponding to an island of regular motion) and the state oscillating 180° out of phase with the initial state.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: I carried out most of the work towards the highly-cited seminal experimental realization of dynamical tunnelling (quantum tunnelling between two states of motion) using a Bose-Einstein condensate, where atoms tunnel through a classical dynamical barrier (KAM surface). Already cited more than 100 times.
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Winfried Hensinger
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:24
Last Modified: 01 May 2012 09:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16119
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