Measurement of the mobility edge for 3D Anderson localization

Year: 2015

Authors: Semeghini G., Landini M., Castilho P., Roy S., Spagnolli G., Trenkwalder A., Fattori M., Inguscio M., Modugno G.

Autors Affiliation: LENS and Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universitá di Firenze, Via N. Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
CNR-INO, Via N. Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
INRIM, Strada delle Cacce 91, 10135 Torino, Italy

Abstract: Anderson localization is a universal phenomenon affecting non-interacting quantum particles in a disordered environment. In three spatial dimensions, theory predicts a quantum phase transition from localization to diffusion at a critical energy, the mobility edge, which depends on the disorder strength. Although it has been recognized already long ago as a prominent feature of disordered systems, a complete experimental characterization of the mobility edge is still missing. Here we report the measurement of the mobility edge for ultracold atoms in a disordered potential created by laser speckles. We are able to control both the disorder strength and the energy of the system, so as to probe the position of the localization threshold in the disorder-energy plane. Our results might allow a direct experiment-theory comparison, which is a prerequisite to study the even more challenging problem of disorder and interactions.

Journal/Review: NATURE PHYSICS

Volume: 11 (7)      Pages from: 554  to: 559

More Information: We acknowledge discussions with V. Josse and L. Pezze. This work was supported by ERC (grants 247371 and 258325), and partially by EU – H2020 research and innovation programme (grant 641122), INFN (MICRA collaboration) and MIUR (grant RBFR08H058).
DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS3339

Citations: 156
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