Topological pumping of a 1D dipolar gas into strongly correlated prethermal states

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Science  15 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6526, pp. 296-300
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4928

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Making a quantum pump

Most nonequilibrium, many-particle systems eventually reach a thermal state. However, some one-dimensional quantum systems do not thermalize, although they may settle into a long-term equilibrium state. Kao et al. studied such a system consisting of dipolar dysprosium atoms confined in an optical potential shaped like a two-dimensional array of elongated tubes. The authors cycled the contact interaction between the atoms in a prescribed way, creating increasingly excited nonthermal quantum many-body states.

Science, this issue p. 296


Long-lived excited states of interacting quantum systems that retain quantum correlations and evade thermalization are of great fundamental interest. We create nonthermal states in a bosonic one-dimensional (1D) quantum gas of dysprosium by stabilizing a super-Tonks-Girardeau gas against collapse and thermalization with repulsive long-range dipolar interactions. Stiffness and energy-per-particle measurements show that the system is dynamically stable regardless of contact interaction strength. This enables us to cycle contact interactions from weakly to strongly repulsive, then strongly attractive, and finally weakly attractive. We show that this cycle is an energy-space topological pump (caused by a quantum holonomy). Iterating this cycle offers an unexplored topological pumping method to create a hierarchy of increasingly excited prethermal states.

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