A key challenge in current experiments with ultracold atoms is the
production of low-temperature (or low entropy) states with atoms in an
optical lattice. This is crucial to the realisation of numerous
interesting many-body states and phases. In this context, it is very
important to understand the nature of the competing heating processes,
which arise from various sources, including spontaneous emissions from
atoms scattering light from the lattice beams, and amplitude noise and
jitter of the lattice potential. Understanding these processes is also an
interesting theoretical problem, because of the interplay between the
single-particle heating processes and the nature of the many-body states
produced in the experiments. In that sense, we must understand
intrinsically non-equilibrium dissipative many-body dynamics.
I will discuss our recent work in this direction, where we compute heating
rates and changes to characteristic correlation functions based on a
microscopic master equation for the many-body system. In 1D this equation
can be propagated exactly by combining time-dependent density matrix
renormalization group (t-DMRG) methods with quantum trajectory techniques.
particularly focus on the interplay between the form of the dissipation
and the many-body physics of the state present in the system, and will
also discuss to what extent the system remains approximately in a thermal
state during the heating process.
Andrew Daley is originally from Auckland, New Zealand, where he completed
his Masters degree in 2002. He received his PhD from the University of
Innsbruck in 2005, working in the group of Peter Zoller, on simulation and
manipulation of cold atoms in optical lattices. He held an assistant
position at the University of Innsbruck and then a senior scientist
position at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of
the Austrian Academy of Sciences until December 2010. In January 2011 he
began a faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
His work focusses on the overlap between quantum optics and many-body
physics, especially in systems of ultracold atoms.