PhD Defense by Martin Anquez

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday September 17, 2015
      11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Location: N110 :Howey physics building
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Summary Sentence: Kibble-Zurek Mechanism in a Spin-1 Bose-Einstein Condensate

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Title: Kibble-Zurek Mechanism in a Spin-1 Bose-Einstein Condensate.

 

Date: Thursday September 17, 2015.

 

Time: 11:00am.

 

Room: N110 in the Howey physics building.

 

Abstract:

 

The Kibble-Zurek mechanism (KZM) primarily characterizes scaling in the formation of topological defects when a system crosses a continuous phase transition. The KZM was first used to study the evolution of the early universe, describing the topology of cosmic domains and strings as the symmetry-breaking phase transitions acted on the vacuum fields during the initial cooling. A ferromagnetic spin-1 $^{87}$Rb Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) exhibits a second-order gapless quantum phase transition due to a competition between the magnetic and collisional spin interaction energies. Unlike extended systems where the KZM is illustrated by topological defects, we focus our study on the temporal evolution of the spin populations and observe how the scaling of the spin dynamics depend on how fast the system is driven through the critical point. In our case, the excitations are manifest in the temporal evolution of the spin populations illustrating a Kibble-Zurek type scaling, where the dynamics of slow quenches through the critical point are predicted to exhibit universal scaling as a function of quench speed. The KZM has been studied theoretically and experimentally in a large variety of systems. There has also been a tremendous interest in the KZM in the cold atoms community in the recent years. It has been observed in ion chains, in atomic gases in optical lattices, but also in Bose gases through the formation of vortices or solitons. The KZM in the context of crossing the quantum phase transition in a ferromagnetic BEC has been theoretically studied, but this thesis is the first experimental investigation of this phenomenon.

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  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 11, 2015 - 11:45am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:13pm