Nonlinearity-assisted quantum tunnelling in a matter-wave interferometer

Chaohong Lee*, Elena A. Ostrovskaya, Yuri S. Kivshar

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigate the nonlinearity-assisted quantum tunnelling and formation of nonlinear collective excitations in a matter-wave interferometer, which is realized by the adiabatic transformation of a double-well potential into a single-well harmonic trap. In contrast to the linear quantum tunnelling induced by the crossing (or avoided crossing) of neighbouring energy levels, the quantum tunnelling between different nonlinear eigenstates is assisted by the nonlinear mean-field interaction. When the barrier between the wells decreases, the mean-field interaction aids quantum tunnelling between the ground and excited nonlinear eigenstates. The resulting non-adiabatic evolution depends on the input states. The tunnelling process leads to the generation of dark solitons, and the number of the generated dark solitons is highly sensitive to the matter-wave nonlinearity. The results of the numerical simulations of the matter-wave dynamics are successfully interpreted with a coupled-mode theory for multiple nonlinear eigenstates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4235-4244
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2007


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