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Ultra-cold quantum gases in spatially engineered dissipative environments

Corinna Kollath & Herwig Ott


In this combined theoretical and experimental project we will investigate the influence of spatially engineered dissipative environments onto interacting Bose gases. The rich properties of interacting quantum gases are characterized by the competition of the interaction energy, the potential energy and the kinetic energy. The dissipative coupling to an environment is a new competitor to these coherent processes which has strong impact on the steady states and the dynamics of the many-body quantum system. Project B3 aims at two central aspects of this CRC: the dissipative generation of many-body quantum states and dissipation induced transport phenomena. The first objective is to employ the environmental coupling as a tool in order to generate tailored many-body quantum states. We plan to experimentally create and control dark solitons and breather states by means of local particle losses and spatially engineered light fields. These states are targeted, since they are on one hand highly interesting collective states which can typically only be created as an excited meta-stable state of the isolated gases and on the other hand they are conceptionally sufficiently simple to allow us intense theoretical and experimental investigations. We will theoretically and experimentally study the dissipative dynamics driving the system into the desired states, and the robustness of the states. The second objective concentrates on the dynamical effects created by local dissipative defects. In particular, the heat and particle transport and the induced thermo-mechanical effects in bosonic gases will be the center of theoretical and experimental study. These thermo-mechanical effects are the analog of thermo-electric effects in real materials. By local dissipative processes, either particle losses or phase noise, the gas will be brought out of equilibrium in a most controlled way. A particle drain can be induced by the loss and a heat imbalance by the local phase noise. On the theoretical side we will devise protocols using different geometries to measure the transport phenomena which will be realized in the following. Additionally, we will develop dedicated theoretical methods in order to treat the transport in dissipative systems.

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