Speaker: Dr. Sebastian Erne (TU Wien)
Title of Talk: Cold atom systems as analogue quantum simulators: From many-body relaxation to fundamental physics

Abstract: Ultracold atoms and their non-equilibrium evolution present an ideal platform to study fundamental processes of quantum field theory and the relaxation dynamics of quantum many-body systems. Transfer of results is often based on either functional equivalence of an effective description based on perturbative expansion or universal aspects independent of the microscopic details of the system. Here we present recent results and future prospects for analogue quantum simulators based on these concepts. In particular, we present results on (i) the relaxation in an inhomogeneous extended bosonic Josephson junction and show that nonlinear dynamics leads to the breakdown of the effective description based on the sine-Gordon model and the fast relaxation of the system to a phase locked state and (ii) the Kibble-Zurek mechanism in cooling quenched one-dimensional Bose gases and show that correlation measurements enable to test the KZ scaling predictions up to very fast quench-rates. We give an outlook on how the regimes of validity for these analogue simulators can be extended through tailored experimental trapping potentials realized by potential painting using a DMD device. Finally we present recent results on the possibility of analogue cold-atom simulators to measure the analogue Unruh effect, which is one of the fundamental and yet still untested predictions of quantum field theory that a uniformly accelerated observer in the Minkowski vacuum observes a thermal state whose temperature is proportional to the acceleration.

Download slides here: https://heibox.uni-heidelberg.de/f/a511acf91905427195ae/?dl=1