Localization and spreading of matter waves in disordered potentials

Larcher, Marco (2013) Localization and spreading of matter waves in disordered potentials. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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In this thesis we address relevant problems of the physics of quantum disordered systems from a numerical and theoretical point of view, with specific attention to the connection of our findings with ultracold atomic gases experiments. We concentrate on two main issues: the interplay between localization and interaction in disordered systems and the problem of localization in correlated random potentials. The first problem is investigated considering the expansion of a weakly interacting Bose gas in a bichromtic optical lattice. We observe that interaction has a destructive effect on the disorder-induced localization and leads to a subdiffusive expansion of the atomic gas. By comparing three characteristic energy scales of the system one can identify three different spreading regimes: weak chaos, strong chaos and self-trapping. The spreading behaviour in these regimes is predicted theoretically and verified numerically. We also interpreted existing experimental data on the basis of our findings and showed that there is a qualitative agreement between our numerical simulations and experiments. The second problem is investigated proposing a new model of correlated disorder that can be implemented experimentally using ultracold dipolar gases. We show that this model is characterized by the presence of both short and long range correlations. We study the localization properties of the model and highlight the role played by short and long range correlations in the determination of those properties. In particular we show that when short-range correlations are dominant, extended states can appear in the spectrum. The effect of long-range correlations is instead to restore localization over the whole spectrum and lead to counterintuitive behaviours of the localization length. More precisely, depending on the localization regime they can enhance or reduce the localization length at the centre of the band.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Physics
PhD Cycle:XXV
Subjects:Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/03 FISICA DELLA MATERIA
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