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Experimental signatures of an absorbing-state phase transition in an open driven many-body quantum system

Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Simonelli, Cristiano; Archimi, Matteo; Castellucci, Francesco; Arimondo, Ennio; Ciampini, Donatella; Marcuzzi, Matteo; Lesanovsky, Igor; Morsch, Oliver

Authors

Ricardo Gutiérrez

Cristiano Simonelli

Matteo Archimi

Francesco Castellucci

Ennio Arimondo

Donatella Ciampini

Matteo Marcuzzi

Igor Lesanovsky

Oliver Morsch



Abstract

Understanding and probing phase transitions in non-equilibrium systems is an ongoing challenge in physics. A particular instance are phase transitions that occur between a non-fluctuating absorbing phase, e.g., an extinct population, and one in which the relevant order parameter, such as the population density, assumes a finite value. Here we report the observation of signatures of such a non-equilibrium phase transition in an open driven quantum system. In our experiment rubidium atoms in a quasi one-dimensional cold disordered gas are laser-excited to Rydberg states under so-called facilitation conditions. This conditional excitation process competes with spontaneous decay and leads to a crossover between a stationary state with no excitations and one with a finite number of excitations. We relate the underlying physics to that of an absorbing state phase transition in the presence of a field (i.e. off-resonant excitation processes) which slightly offsets the system from criticality. We observe a characteristic power-law scaling of the Rydberg excitation density as well as increased fluctuations close to the transition point. Furthermore, we argue that the observed transition relies on the presence of atomic motion which introduces annealed disorder into the system and enables the formation of long-ranged correlations. Our study paves the road for future investigations into the largely unexplored physics of non-equilibrium phase transitions in open many-body quantum systems.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 9, 2017
Journal Physical Review A
Print ISSN 2469-9926
Electronic ISSN 2469-9934
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 96
Issue 4
Article Number 041602(R)
APA6 Citation Gutiérrez, R., Simonelli, C., Archimi, M., Castellucci, F., Arimondo, E., Ciampini, D., …Morsch, O. (2017). Experimental signatures of an absorbing-state phase transition in an open driven many-body quantum system. Physical Review A, 96(4), doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.96.041602
DOI https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.96.041602
Publisher URL https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.96.041602
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Experimental signatures of an absorbing-state phase transition in an open driven many-body quantum system.
Ricardo Gutiérrez, Cristiano Simonelli, Matteo Archimi, Francesco Castellucci, Ennio Arimondo, Donatella Ciampini, Matteo Marcuzzi, Igor Lesanovsky, and Oliver Morsch,
Phys. Rev. A 96, 041602(R).

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AbsorbingStateColdAtoms_PRArevised.pdf (1.5 Mb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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