We study a transition between a homogeneous and an inhomogeneous phase in a system of one-dimensional, Raman tunnel-coupled Bose gases. The homogeneous phase shows a flat density and phase profile, whereas the inhomogeneous ground state is characterized by periodic density ripples, and a soliton staircase in the phase difference. We show that under experimentally viable conditions the transition can be tuned by the wavevector difference Q of the Raman beams and can be described by the Pokrovsky-Talapov model for the relative phase between the two condensates. Local imaging available in atom chip experiments allows to observe the soliton lattice directly, while modulation spectroscopy can be used to explore collective modes, such as the phonon mode arising from breaking of translation symmetry by the soliton lattice. In addition, we investigate regimes where the cold atom experiment deviates from the Pokrovsky-Talapov field theory. We predict unusual mesoscopic effects arising from the finite size of the system, such as quantized injection of solitons upon increasing Q, or the system size. For moderate values of Q above criticality, we find that the density modulations in the two gases interplay with the relative phase profile and introduce novel features in the spatial structure of the mode wave-functions. Using an inhomogeneous Bogoliubov theory, we show that spatial quantum fluctuations are intertwined with the emerging soliton staircase. Finally, we comment on the prospects of the ultra-cold atom setup as a tunable platform studying quantum aspects of the Pokrovsky-Talapov theory in and out-of-equilibrium.
V. Kasper, J. Marino, S. Ji, V. Gritsev, J. Schmiedmayer, and E. Demler, “Simulating a quantum
commensurate-incommensurate phase transition using two Raman coupled one dimensional
condensates”, Phys. Rev. B 101, 224102 (2020).
Related to Project A03