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Journal Article

Slow relaxation and sensitivity to disorder in trapped lattice fermions after a quench


Moessner,  Roderich
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Schulz, M., Hooley, C. A., & Moessner, R. (2016). Slow relaxation and sensitivity to disorder in trapped lattice fermions after a quench. Physical Review A, 94(6): 063643. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.94.063643.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-5DE9-2
We consider a system of noninteracting fermions in one dimension subject to a single-particle potential consisting of (a) a strong optical lattice, (b) a harmonic trap, and (c) uncorrelated on-site disorder. After a quench, in which the center of the harmonic trap is displaced, we study the occupation function of the fermions and the time evolution of experimental observables. Specifically, we present numerical and analytical results for the postquench occupation function of the fermions, and analyze the time evolution of the real-space density profile. Unsurprisingly for a noninteracting (and therefore integrable) system, the infinite-time limit of the density profile is nonthermal. However, due to Bragg localization of the higher-energy single-particle states, the approach to even this nonthermal state is extremely slow. We quantify this statement, and show that it implies a sensitivity to disorder parametrically stronger than that expected from Anderson localization.