Correlations in high-harmonic generation of matter-wave jets revealed by pattern recognition

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Science  01 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 521-524
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat5008

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Seeing patterns in atomic jets

Atomic interactions in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) can lead to complex collective behavior. Experimentally, these interactions are often tuned by varying an external magnetic field. Feng et al. modulated the interaction among cesium atoms in a BEC. The collisions between atoms exposed to the modulated field sent the atoms flying out of the condensate in jets of seemingly random directions. A pattern-recognition technique revealed that certain directions were associated with particularly large numbers of scattered atoms. The pattern of the scattering maxima could be attributed to secondary collisions.

Science, this issue p. 521


Correlations in interacting many-body systems are key to the study of quantum matter. The complexity of the correlations typically grows quickly as the system evolves and thus presents a challenge for experimental characterization and intuitive understanding. In a strongly driven Bose-Einstein condensate, we observe the high-harmonic generation of matter-wave jets with complex correlations as a result of bosonic stimulation. Based on a pattern recognition scheme, we identify a pattern of correlations that reveals the underlying secondary scattering processes and higher-order correlations. We show that pattern recognition offers a versatile strategy to visualize and analyze the quantum dynamics of a many-body system.

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