Experimental observation of the avoided crossing of two S -matrix resonance poles in an ultracold atom collider

Matthew Chilcott, Ryan Thomas, Niels Kjærgaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    In quantum mechanics, collisions between two particles are captured by a scattering matrix which describes the transfer from an initial entrance state to an outgoing final state. Analyticity of the elements of this S matrix enables their continuation onto the complex energy plane and opens up a powerful and widely used framework in scattering theory, where bound states and scattering resonances for a physical system are ascribed to S-matrix poles. In the Gedankenexperiment of gradually changing the potential parameters of the system, the complex energy poles will begin to move, and in their ensuing flow, two poles approaching will interact. An actual observation of this intriguing interaction between scattering poles in a collision experiment has, however, been elusive. Here, we expose the interplay between two scattering poles relating to a shape resonance and a magnetically tunable Feshbach resonance by studying ultracold atoms with a laser-based collider. We exploit the tunability of the Feshbach resonance to observe a compelling avoided crossing of the poles in their energies which is the hallmark of a strongly coupled system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number033209
    JournalPhysical Review Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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