Finite temperature phase transition for disordered weakly interacting bosons in one dimension

I. L. Aleiner 1, B. L. Altshuler 2, G. V. Shlyapnikov 3, 4

Nature Physics 6 (2010) 900-904

It is commonly accepted that there are no phase transitions in one-dimensional (1D) systems at a finite temperature, because long-range correlations are destroyed by thermal fluctuations. Here we demonstrate that the 1D gas of short-range interacting bosons in the presence of disorder can undergo a finite temperature phase transition between two distinct states: fluid and insulator. None of these states has long-range spatial correlations, but this is a true albeit non-conventional phase transition because transport properties are singular at the transition point. In the fluid phase the mass transport is possible, whereas in the insulator phase it is completely blocked even at finite temperatures. We thus reveal how the interaction between disordered bosons influences their Anderson localization. This key question, first raised for electrons in solids, is now crucial for the studies of atomic bosons where recent experiments have demonstrated Anderson localization in expanding very dilute quasi-1D clouds.

  • 1. Physics Department,
    Columbia University
  • 2. Physics Dept.,
    Columbia University, new York
  • 3. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 4. Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute,
    University of Amsterdam