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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10277/117

Authors: Rebuzzini, Laura Francesca
Internal Tutor: ARTUSO, ROBERTO
Title: Theoretical aspects of Quantum Accelerator Modes.
Abstract: This thesis is devoted to the study of some theoretical aspects of the problem of Quantum Accelerator Modes (QAMs), which has received considerable interest in recent years both by experimentalists and theorists in the fields of Quantum Chaos, Quantum Optics and cold-ultracold atomic physics. QAMs, recently observed in cold atom optics, are formed by exposing cold alkali atoms to periodic kicks in the direction of the gravitational field. The kicks are generated by a pulsed standing wave of light. A QAM is characterized by a momentum transfer, which increases linearly with the number of pulses, to a substantial fraction of the atoms. QAMs arise for values of the pulse period close to a integer multiple of half of a characteristic time TB (the Talbot time), typical of the kind of atoms used. A detailed theoretical explanation of this quantum effect is presented. The system can be modelled by a variant of the well-known quantum Kicked Rotator, in which the effects of a static force, produced by the earth gravitational field, are taken into account. A pseudo-classical theory has been formulated, in which the role of Planck constant is played by the detuning of the kicking period from the resonant value: in the asymptotic limit for a vanishing detuning, QAMs are described by the stable periodic orbit of a “formally” classical map on the 2-torus. An analysis of parametric dependence of the map is performed perturbatively; the parameter regions where the motion is stable and periodic exhibit Arnol’d tongues-like structures. The ordering of Arnol’d tongues and hence the classification of experimentally observed accelerator modes is provided by a number-theoretic construction known as the Farey Tree. Quantum decay of the modes from classical stable islands immersed in a chaotic sea is analysed and its relations to the famous Wannier-Stark problem are investigated. Theoretical estimates for the lifetimes of the metastable states as a function of the effective Planck constant are obtained. QAM dynamics in a Bose-Einstein condensate is then considered. Modifications on transport phenomena, imposed by nonlinearities of Gross-Pitaevskii type, which describe the atomic interactions in a mean-field approach, are examined by computer-assisted analysis. Finally, the problem of QAMs in the vicinity of a generic quantum resonance, namely for kicking period sufficiently close to any rational multiple of the Talbot time, is studied. The theoretical framework is nontrivially generalized in terms of spinor dynamics: an ansatz of the Born-Oppenheimer type allows to decouple the dynamics of spinor and orbital degrees of freedom and a description of the orbital motion by means of “formally” classical equations is achieved. New rich families of experimental observable QAMs are predicted.
Subject MIUR : FIS/01 FISICA SPERIMENTALE
Issue Date: 2008
Language: en
Doctoral course: Fisica
Academic cycle: 21
Publisher: Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Citation: Rebuzzini, L.F.Theoretical aspects of Quantum Accelerator Modes. (Doctoral Thesis, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, 2008).

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