Avalanches of Bose-Einstein Condensates in Leaking Optical Lattices

Ng, G. S.
Hennig, H.
Fleischmann, R.
Kottos, T.
Geisel, T.
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One of the most fascinating experimental achievements of the last decade was the realization of Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices (OL's). The extraordinary level of control over these structures allows us to investigate complex solid state phenomena and the emerging field of ``atomtronics'' promises a new generation of nanoscale devices. It is therefore of fundamental and technological importance to understand their dynamical properties. Here we study the outgoing atomic flux of BECs loaded in an one-dimensional OL with leaking edges, using a mean field description provided by the Discrete Non-Linear Schrodinger Equation (DNLSE). We demonstrate that the atom population inside the OL decays in avalanches of size $J$. For intermediate values of the interatomic interaction strength their distribution ${\cal P}(J)$ follows a power law i.e. ${\cal P}(J)\sim1/J^{\alpha}$ characterizing systems at phase transition. This scale free behaviour of ${\cal P}(J)$ reflects the complexity and the hierarchical structure of the underlying classical mixed phase space. Our results are relevant in a variety of contexts (whenever DNLSE is adequate), most prominently the light emmitance from coupled non-linear optics waveguides.
Comment: 7 pages and 3 figures
Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics, Condensed Matter - Other Condensed Matter, Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics