Dennis Dast, Daniel Haag, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

We present a quantum master equation describing a Bose-Einstein condensate with particle loss on one lattice site and particle gain on the other lattice site whose mean-field limit is a non-Hermitian PT-symmetric Gross-Pitaevskii equation. It is shown that the characteristic properties of PT-symmetric systems, such as the existence of stationary states and the phase shift of pulses between two lattice sites, are also found in the many-particle system. Visualizing the dynamics on a Bloch sphere allows us to compare the complete dynamics of the master equation with that of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. We find that even for a relatively small number of particles the dynamics are in excellent agreement and the master equation with balanced gain and loss is indeed an appropriate many-particle description of a PT-symmetric Bose-Einstein condensate.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.6189

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas)

Fabian Single, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner, Jörg Main

We show how non-Hermitian potentials used to describe probability gain and loss in effective theories of open quantum systems can be achieved by a coupling of the system to an environment. We do this by coupling a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) trapped in an attractive double-delta potential to a condensate fraction outside the double well. We investigate which requirements have to be imposed on possible environments with a linear coupling to the system. This information is used to determine an environment required for stationary states of the BEC. To investigate the stability of the system we use fully numerical simulations of the dynamics. It turns out that the approach is viable and possible setups for the realization of a PT-symmetric potential for a BEC are accessible. Vulnerabilities of the whole system to small perturbations can be adhered to the singular character of the simplified delta-shaped potential used in our model.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.7490

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas)

Rüdiger Fortanier, Dennis Dast, Daniel Haag, Holger Cartarius, Jörg Main, Günter Wunner

We investigate dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates in a complex external double-well potential that features a combined parity and time-reversal symmetry. On the basis of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation we study the effects of the long-ranged anisotropic dipole-dipole interaction on ground and excited states by the use of a time-dependent variational approach. We show that the property of a similar non-dipolar condensate to possess real energy eigenvalues in certain parameter ranges is preserved despite the inclusion of this nonlinear interaction. Furthermore, we present states that break the PT symmetry and investigate the stability of the distinct stationary solutions. In our dynamical simulations we reveal a complex stabilization mechanism for PT-symmetric, as well as for PT-broken states which are, in principle, unstable with respect to small perturbations.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.6742

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Daniel Haag, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

We consider the linear and nonlinear Schrodinger equation for a Bose-Einstein condensate in a harmonic trap with PT-symmetric double-delta function loss and gain terms. We verify that the conditions for the applicability of a recent proposition by Mityagin and Siegl on singular perturbations of harmonic oscillator type self-adjoint operators are fulfilled. In both the linear and nonlinear case we calculate numerically the shifts of the unperturbed levels with quantum numbers n of up to 89 in dependence on the strength of the non-Hermiticity and compare with rigorous estimates derived by those authors. We confirm that the predicted 1/n1/2 estimate provides a valid upper bound on the the shrink rate of the numerical eigenvalues. Moreover, we find that a more recent estimate of log(n)/n3/2 is in excellent agreement with the numerical results. With nonlinearity the shrink rates are found to be smaller than without nonlinearity, and the rigorous estimates, derived only for the linear case, are no longer applicable.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.2896

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Spectral Theory (math.SP)

Andreas Löhle, Holger Cartarius, Daniel Haag, Dennis Dast, Jörg Main, Günter Wunner

A Bose-Einstein condensate trapped in a double-well potential, where atoms are incoupled to one side and extracted from the other, can in the mean-field limit be described by the nonlinear Gross-Pitaevskii equation (GPE) with a \({\mathcal PT}\)-symmetric external potential. If the strength of the in- and outcoupling is increased two \({\mathcal PT}\) broken states bifurcate from the \({\mathcal PT}\)-symmetric ground state. At this bifurcation point a stability change of the ground state is expected. However, it is observed that this stability change does not occur exactly at the bifurcation but at a slightly different strength of the in-/outcoupling effect. We investigate a Bose-Einstein condensate in a \({\mathcal PT}\)-symmetric double-\(\delta\) potential and calculate the stationary states. The ground state’s stability is analysed by means of the Bogoliubov-de Gennes equations and it is shown that the difference in the strength of the in-/outcoupling between the bifurcation and the stability change can be completely explained by the norm-dependency of the nonlinear term in the Gross-Pitaevskii equation.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.2354

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Dennis Dast, Daniel Haag, Holger Cartarius, Jörg Main, Günter Wunner

We study a Bose-Einstein condensate in a PT-symmetric double-well potential where particles are coherently injected in one well and removed from the other well. In mean-field approximation the condensate is described by the Gross-Pitaevskii equation thus falling into the category of nonlinear non-Hermitian quantum systems. After extending the concept of PT symmetry to such systems, we apply an analytic continuation to the Gross-Pitaevskii equation from complex to bicomplex numbers and show a thorough numerical investigation of the four-dimensional bicomplex eigenvalue spectrum. The continuation introduces additional symmetries to the system which are confirmed by the numerical calculations and furthermore allows us to analyze the bifurcation scenarios and exceptional points of the system. We present a linear matrix model and show the excellent agreement with our numerical results. The matrix model includes both exceptional points found in the double-well potential, namely an EP2 at the tangent bifurcation and an EP3 at the pitchfork bifurcation. When the two bifurcation points coincide the matrix model possesses four degenerate eigenvectors. Close to that point we observe the characteristic features of four interacting modes in both the matrix model and the numerical calculations, which provides clear evidence for the existence of an EP4.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3871

Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Robin Gutöhrlein, Jörg Main, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

Bose-Einstein condensates are described in a mean-field approach by the nonlinear Gross-Pitaevskii equation and exhibit phenomena of nonlinear dynamics. The eigenstates can undergo bifurcations in such a way that two or more eigenvalues and the corresponding wave functions coalesce at critical values of external parameters. E.g. in condensates without long-range interactions a stable and an unstable state are created in a tangent bifurcation when the scattering length of the contact interaction is varied. At the critical point the coalescing states show the properties of an exceptional point. In dipolar condensates fingerprints of a pitchfork bifurcation have been discovered by Rau et al. [Phys. Rev. A, 81:031605(R), 2010]. We present a method to uncover all states participating in a pitchfork bifurcation, and investigate in detail the signatures of exceptional points related to bifurcations in dipolar condensates. For the perturbation by two parameters, viz. the scattering length and a parameter breaking the cylindrical symmetry of the harmonic trap, two cases leading to different characteristic eigenvalue and eigenvector patterns under cyclic variations of the parameters need to be distinguished. The observed structures resemble those of three coalescing eigenfunctions obtained by Demange and Graefe [J. Phys. A, 45:025303, 2012] using perturbation theory for non-Hermitian operators in a linear model. Furthermore, the splitting of the exceptional point under symmetry breaking in either two or three branching singularities is examined. Characteristic features are observed when one, two, or three exceptional points are encircled simultaneously.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.5615

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Manuel Kreibich, Jörg Main, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

A PT-symmetric Bose-Einstein condensate can be theoretically described using a complex optical potential, however, the experimental realization of such an optical potential describing the coherent in- and outcoupling of particles is a nontrivial task. We propose an experiment for a quantum mechanical realization of a PT-symmetric system, where the PT-symmetric currents of a two-well system are implemented by coupling two additional wells to the system, which act as particle reservoirs. In terms of a simple four-mode model we derive conditions under which the two middle wells of the Hermitian four-well system behave exactly as the two wells of the PT-symmetric system. We apply these conditions to calculate stationary solutions and oscillatory dynamics. By means of frozen Gaussian wave packets we relate the Gross-Pitaevskii equation to the four-mode model and give parameters required for the external potential, which provides approximate conditions for a realistic experimental setup.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.2008

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Holger Cartarius, Daniel Haag, Dennis Dast, Günter Wunner

The time-independent nonlinear Schrodinger equation is solved for two attractive delta-function shaped potential wells where an imaginary loss term is added in one well, and a gain term of the same size but with opposite sign in the other. We show that for vanishing nonlinearity the model captures all the features known from studies of PT symmetric optical wave guides, e.g., the coalescence of modes in an exceptional point at a critical value of the loss/gain parameter, and the breaking of PT symmetry beyond. With the nonlinearity present, the equation is a model for a Bose-Einstein condensate with loss and gain in a double well potential. We find that the nonlinear Hamiltonian picks as stationary eigenstates exactly such solutions which render the nonlinear Hamiltonian itself PT symmetric, but observe coalescence and bifurcation scenarios different from those known from linear PT symmetric Hamiltonians.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.1669

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

The observation of PT symmetry in a coupled optical wave guide system that involves a complex refractive index has been demonstrated impressively in the experiment by Ruter el al. (Nat. Phys. 6, 192, 2010). This is, however, only an optical analogue of a quantum system, and it would be highly desirable to observe the manifestation of PT symmetry and the resulting properties also in a real, experimentally accessible, quantum system. Following a suggestion by Klaiman et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 080402, 2008), we investigate a PT symmetric arrangement of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a double well potential, where in one well cold atoms are injected while in the other particles are extracted from the condensate. We investigate, in particular, the effects of the nonlinearity in the Gross-Pitaevskii equation on the PT properties of the condensate. To study these effects we analyze a simple one-dimensional model system in which the condensate is placed into two PT symmetric delta-function traps. The analysis will serve as a useful guide for studies of the behaviour of Bose-Einstein condensates in realistic PT symmetric double wells.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.1885

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)