Quantum and classical dynamics of atoms in a magneto-optical lattice

Shohini Ghose, Paul M. Alsing, Ivan H. Deutsch, Poul S. Jessen, David L. Haycock, Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Salman Habib, Kurt Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The transport of ultra-cold atoms in magneto-optical potentials provides a clean setting in which to investigate the distinct predictions of classical versus quantum dynamics for a system with coupled degrees of freedom. In this system, entanglement at the quantum level and chaos at the classical level arise from the coupling between the atomic spin and its center-of-mass motion. Experiments, performed deep in the quantum regime, correspond to dynamic quantum tunneling. This nonclassical behavior is contrasted with the predictions for an initial phase space distribution produced in the experiment, but undergoing classical Hamiltonian flow. We study conditions under which the trapped atoms can be made to exhibit classical dynamics through the process of continuous measurement, which localizes the probability distribution to phase space trajectories, consistent with the uncertainty principle and quantum "back-action" noise. This method allows us to analytically and numerically identify the quantum-classical boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperimental Chaos
Subtitle of host publication7th Experimental Chaos Conference
EditorsVisarath In, Ljupco Kocarev, Stefano Boccaletti, Bruce J. Gluckman, Jurgen Kurths, Thomas L. Carroll
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)0735401454
StatePublished - Aug 19 2003
Event7th Experimental Chaos Conference - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 26 2002Aug 29 2002

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference7th Experimental Chaos Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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