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May 5, 2016 - 1:00pm
Saurabh Paul

Experiments with ultracold atoms in optical lattice have become a versatile testing ground to study diverse quantum many-body Hamiltonians. A single-band Bose-Hubbard (BH) Hamiltonian was first proposed to describe these systems in 1998 and its associated quantum phase-transition was subsequently observed in 2002. Over the years, there has been a rapid progress in experimental realizations of more complex lattice geometries, leading to more exotic BH Hamiltonians with contributions from excited bands, and modified tunneling and interaction energies. There has also been interesting theoretical insights and experimental studies on "unconventional'' Bose-Einstein condensates in optical lattices and predictions of rich orbital physics in higher bands. In this thesis, I present our results on several multi-band BH models and emergent quantum phenomena. In particular, I study optical lattices with two local minima per unit cell and show that the low energy states of a multi-band BH Hamiltonian with only pairwise interactions is equivalent to an effective single-band Hamiltonian with strong three-body interactions. I also propose a second method to create three-body interactions in ultracold gases of bosonic atoms in a optical lattice. In this case, this is achieved by a careful cancellation of two contributions in the pair-wise interaction between the atoms, one proportional to the zero-energy scattering length and a second proportional to the effective range. I subsequently study the physics of Bose-Einstein condensation in the second band of a double-well 2D lattice and show that the  collision aided decay rate of the condensate to the ground band is smaller than the tunneling rate between neighboring unit cells. Finally, I propose a numerical method using the discrete variable representation for constructing real-valued Wannier functions localized in a unit cell for optical lattices. The developed numerical method is general and can be applied to a wide array of optical lattice geometries in one, two or three dimensions.​

Dissertation Committee Chair: Prof. Steve Rolston


Dr. Eite Tiesinga

Dr. Paul Lett

Dr. Mohammad Hafezi

Dr. Dionisios Margetis

CSS 2115
College Park, MD 20742

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