Scientific Results

Crossing Over from Attractive to Repulsive Interactions in a Tunneling Bosonic Josephson Junction

Year: 2017

Authors: Spagnolli G., Semeghini G., Masi L., Ferioli G., Trenkwalder A., Coop S., Landini M., Pezzè L., Modugno G., Inguscio M., Smerzi A., Fattori M.

Autors Affiliation: CNR Istituto Nazionale Ottica, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; LENS and Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universitá di Firenze, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; ICFO-Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain; Quantum Science and Technology in Arcetri, QSTAR, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: We explore the interplay between tunneling and interatomic interactions in the dynamics of a bosonic Josephson junction. We tune the scattering length of an atomic 39 K Bose-Einstein condensate confined in a double-well trap to investigate regimes inaccessible to other superconducting or superfluid systems. In the limit of small-amplitude oscillations, we study the transition from Rabi to plasma oscillations by crossing over from attractive to repulsive interatomic interactions. We observe a critical slowing down in the oscillation frequency by increasing the strength of an attractive interaction up to the point of a quantum phase transition. With sufficiently large initial oscillation amplitude and repulsive interactions, the system enters the macroscopic quantum self-trapping regime, where we observe coherent undamped oscillations with a self-sustained average imbalance of the relative well population. The exquisite agreement between theory and experiments enables the observation of a broad range of many body coherent dynamical regimes
driven by tunable tunneling energy, interactions and external forces, with applications spanning from atomtronics to quantum metrology.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

Volume: 118 (23)      Pages from: 230403-1  to: 230403-6

More Information: We thank all our colleagues of the Quantum Degenerate Gases group at LENS for inspiring discussions. This work was supported by the ERC Starting Grant AISENS No. 258325 and by EC-H2020 Grant QUIC No. 641122.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.230403

Citations: 14
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English