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Victor Galitski of AQC Sheds Light on Quantum Gas Behavior

Dynamical Localization in Quantum Gases

In the intricate world of quantum physics, a study led by AQC's Victor Galitski, along with Colin Rylands and other colleagues, has made a significant contribution to our understanding of quantum gases. Published in April 2020 and covered by Bailey Bedford at the Joint Quantum Institute, this research focuses on a less widely known quantum behavior known as dynamical localization. It has garnered attention for challenging some fundamental assumptions of thermodynamics.

Dynamical localization is a phenomenon where a quantum object remains at a consistent temperature despite a continuous supply of energy. This defies the typical thermodynamic expectation that a cold object will absorb heat from a warmer one. Understanding this behavior is crucial, not only for our comprehension of the universe but also for the practical development of quantum technologies.

Galitski and his team explored this phenomenon beyond its previously observed single quantum object scope. They investigated mathematical models to understand if dynamical localization persists even in the presence of strong interactions among many quantum particles. This research, published in Physical Review Letters, indicates that dynamical localization can indeed occur in such complex systems, extending the concept to many interacting particles.

To simplify this complex idea, consider a quantum merry-go-round. In the classical world, this merry-go-round would spin faster and accumulate more energy with each push. However, in the quantum realm, each push creates a superposition of different speeds, and it's only upon measurement that a specific speed emerges. Past a certain point, despite continuous efforts, the energy of this quantum merry-go-round tends to plateau, a behavior known as dynamical localization.

This concept is related to Anderson localization, where quantum particles like electrons can become trapped despite apparent opportunities to move, due to quantum interference among paths. Dynamical localization, similarly, traps a particle's energy, making it stick near a single value despite ongoing energy input.

Galitski's team focused on a one-dimensional Bose gas to explore this phenomenon, where particles moving back and forth in a line act as rotors. These Bose gases, more practical in laboratory settings, follow the principles of kicked rotors but are easier to manipulate and observe.

Their findings suggest that in a strongly interacting Bose gas near zero temperature, dynamical localization can occur, leading to what they term "many-body dynamical localization." This discovery has significant implications, demonstrating a lack of complete understanding of these systems and potentially paving the way for applications in quantum computing by reducing sensitivity to quantum decoherence effects.

Experimental validation of these findings comes from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where David Weld's team used a quantum gas of lithium atoms confined by lasers. Their experiments, which align closely with Galitski's theoretical model, show localization even in the presence of strong interactions, confirming the theoretical predictions.

In summary, the research led by AQC's Victor Galitski opens new avenues in the understanding and manipulation of quantum gases, challenging existing notions and offering new insights into the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds.

Aspen Quantum Consulting (AQC) is a provider of authoritative scientific due diligence for quantum technology and deep tech. Connect with us if your business is based on a scientific or technological breakthrough and requires validation by reputable experts!


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