Death at the Band Edge - where Degenerate Bose Gases Degenerate
A/Prof Andrew C. Wilson
The Dodd-Walls Centre for Quantum Science
& Technology Physics Department, University of Otago, New Zealand
Monday 27 October 2008, 3:30 pm, Lecture
Theatre EN101, EN Building, Hawthorn.
Of all the important discoveries
and applications that have come from ultracold atom research, perhaps
the most useful to the physics community overall are those that
have provided a detailed understanding of the quantum physics at
the heart of a wide range of important phenomena in other physical
systems. One of the best examples of this is Bose-Einstein condensates
in optical lattices, which have been used to model the behaviour
of electrons in crystalline solids. Bose condensates in optical
lattices are attractive systems with which to study this aspect
of solid-state physics because the experiments provide an exceptional
level of flexibility and control, and there are microscopic theories
available that are computationally tractable with various degrees
At sufficiently large densities the inter-atomic
interactions result in a rich range of nonlinear phenomena. Notably,
the quantum phase transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator
and the generation of bright gap solitons have been observed. When
the condensate is moving relative to the lattice, the nonlinearity
can induce a dynamical or modulational instability that leads to
an observed heating of the condensate. This talk will present an
investigation into one such dynamical instability.
The research I will describe is part of the newly
formed Dodd-Walls Centre (DWC), which links together all of New
Zealand's expertise in quantum optics, ultracold atoms, and photonics.
I will provide an overview of the DWC.
Back to 2008 programme