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Journal Article

Nonlinear Landau–Zener tunneling in quantum phase space


Witthaut,  Dirk
Max Planck Research Group Network Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Trimborn, F., Witthaut, D., Kegel, V., & Korsch, H. J. (2010). Nonlinear Landau–Zener tunneling in quantum phase space. New Journal of Physics, 12: 053010. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/12/5/053010.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-1267-4
We present a detailed analysis of the Landau–Zener problem for an interacting Bose–Einstein condensate in a time-varying double-well trap, especially focusing on the relation between the full many-particle problem and the mean-field approximation. Due to the nonlinear self-interaction a dynamical instability occurs, which leads to a breakdown of adiabaticity and thus fundamentally alters the dynamics. It is shown that essentially all the features of the Landau–Zener problem including the depletion of the condensate mode can be already understood within a semiclassical phase-space picture. In particular, this treatment resolves the formerly imputed incommutability of the adiabatic and semiclassical limits. The possibility of exploiting Landau–Zener sweeps to generate squeezed states for spectroscopic tasks is analyzed in detail. Moreover, we study the influence of phase noise and propose a Landau–Zener sweep as a sensitive yet readily implementable probe for decoherence, since the noise has significant effect on the transition rate for slow parameter variations.