Anderson localization of a non-interacting Bose-Einstein condensate

Year: 2008

Authors: Roati G., D’Errico C., Fallani L., Fattori M., Fort C., Zaccanti M., Modugno G., Modugno M., Inguscio M.

Autors Affiliation: LENS and Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita` di Firenze, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; INFM-CNR, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche‘E. Fermi’, 00184 Roma, Italy;
Dipartimento di Matematica Applicata, Universita` di Firenze, 50139 Firenze, Italy;
BEC-INFM Center, Universita` di Trento, 38050 Povo, Italy

Abstract: Anderson localization of waves in disordered media was originally predicted fifty years ago, in the context of transport of electrons in crystals. The phenomenon is much more general and has been observed in a variety of systems, including light waves. However, Anderson localization has not been observed directly for matter waves. Owing to the high degree of control over most of the system parameters (in particular the interaction strength), ultracold atoms offer opportunities for the study of disorder-induced localization. Here we use a non-interacting Bose-Einstein condensate to study Anderson localization. The experiment is performed with a one-dimensional quasi-periodic lattice – a system that features a crossover between extended and exponentially localized states, as in the case of purely random disorder in higher dimensions. Localization is clearly demonstrated through investigations of the transport properties and spatial and momentum distributions. We characterize the crossover, finding that the critical disorder strength scales with the tunnelling energy of the atoms in the lattice. This controllable system may be used to investigate the interplay of disorder and interaction (ref. 7 and references therein), and to explore exotic quantum phases. ©2008 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Journal/Review: NATURE

Volume: 453 (7197)      Pages from: 895  to: 899

KeyWords: Potassium, condensate; electron; Lattice dynamics; One-dimensional modeling; Wave, Anderson localization; Article; Bose Einstein; Electron transport; Mathematical computing; Priority journal; Quantum mechanics; Statistical analysis; Light; Absence
DOI: 10.1038/nature07071

Citations: 1241
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