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Dynamics of Interacting Ultracold Atoms and Emergent Quantum States

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posted on 07.05.2021, 19:18 by Changyuan Lyu

The development of ultracold atom physics enables people to study fundamental questions in quantum mechanics within this highly-tunable platform. This dissertation focuses on several topics of the dynamical evolution of quantum systems.

Chapter 2 and 3 talk about Loschmidt echo, a simple quantity that reveals many hidden properties of a system’s time evolution. Chapter 2 looks for vanishing Loschmidt echo in the complex plane of time and the corresponding dynamical quantum phase transitions (DQPT) in the thermodynamic limit. For a two-site Bose-Hubbard model consisting of weakly interacting particles, DQPTs reside at the time scale inversely proportional to the interaction, where highly entangled pair condensates also show up. Chapter 3 discusses the revival of Loschmidt echo in a discrete time crystal, a Floquet system whose discrete temporal transition symmetry is spontaneously broken. We propose a new design and demonstrate its robustness against the fluctuations in the driving field. It can also be used in precision measurement to go beyond the Heisenberg limit. Experimental schemes are presented.

Out-of-time-order correlator (OTOC) is a more complicated variant of Loschmidt echo. Experimentally it requires reversing the time evolution. In Chapter 4, by exploiting the SU(1,1) symmetry of a weakly interacting BEC and connecting its quantum dynamics to a hyperbolic space, we obtain a geometric framework that enables experimentalists to manipulate the evolution with great freedom. Backward evolution is then realized effectively to measure OTOC of such SU(1,1) systems.

Chapter 5 discusses the decoherence of a spin impurity immersed in a spinor BEC. Our calculations show that by looking at the dynamics of the impurity’s reduced density matrix, the phase of the spinor BEC can be detected.


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Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Physics and Astronomy

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Qi Zhou

Additional Committee Member 2

Christopher H. Greene

Additional Committee Member 3

Chen-Lung Hung

Additional Committee Member 4

Sergei Khlebnikov