Dynamical tunneling with ultracold atoms in magnetic microtraps

Martin Lenz1,2, Sebastian Wüster1,3, Christopher J. Vale1,4, Norman R. Heckenberg1, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop1, C. A. Holmes1, G. J. Milburn1, and Matthew J. Davis1

Phys. Rev. A 88, 013635 (2013)

The study of dynamical tunneling in a periodically driven anharmonic potential probes the quantum-classical transition via the experimental control of the effective Planck's constant for the system. In this paper we consider the prospects for observing dynamical tunneling with ultracold atoms in magnetic microtraps on atom chips. We outline the driven anharmonic potentials that are possible using standard magnetic traps and find the Floquet spectrum for one of these as a function of the potential strength, modulation, and effective Planck's constant. We develop an integrable approximation to the nonintegrable Hamiltonian and find that it can explain the behavior of the tunneling rate as a function of the effective Planck's constant in the regular region of parameter space. In the chaotic region we compare our results with the predictions of models that describe chaos-assisted tunneling. Finally, we examine the practicality of performing these experiments in the laboratory with Bose-Einstein condensates.

  • 1 The University of Queensland, School of Mathematics and Physics, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
  • 2 University Paris Sud, CNRS, LPTMS, UMR 8626, Orsay 91405, France
  • 3 Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Nöthnitzer Strasse 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany
  • 4 ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics and Centre for Atom Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria 3122, Australia