Decay of superfluid currents in a moving system of strongly interacting bosons
Lukin, M. D.
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Citation (published version)A Polkovnikov, E Altman, E Demler, B Halperin, MD Lukin. 2005. "Decay of superfluid currents in a moving system of strongly interacting bosons." PHYSICAL REVIEW A, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp. ? - ? (25). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.71.063613
We analyze the stability and decay of supercurrents of strongly interacting bosons on optical lattices. At the mean-field level, the system undergoes an irreversible dynamic phase transition, whereby the current decays beyond a critical phase gradient that depends on the interaction strength. At commensurate filling the transition line smoothly interpolates between the classical modulational instability of weakly interacting bosons and the equilibrium Mott transition at zero current. Below the mean-field instability, the current can decay due to quantum and thermal phase slips. We derive asymptotic expressions of the decay rate near the critical current. In a three-dimensional optical lattice this leads to very weak broadening of the transition. In one and two dimensions the broadening leads to significant current decay well below the mean-field critical current. We show that the temperature scale below which quantum phase slips dominate the decay of supercurrents is easily within experimental reach.