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The work deals with two of the most fundamental phenomena of condensed matter: interaction and disorder. Think about ultra-cold atomic gases. One atom from the gas is a quantum particle, and thus a quantum wave as well, which has both amplitude and phase. When such quantum particles, i.e. waves fail to propagate in a disordered medium, they get trapped and come to a complete halt. This destructive interference of propagating waves is Anderson localization.
Microscopic particles, described by quantum mechanics, interact when approaching each other. The presence of interaction, at least initially, destroys localization in a cloud of quantum particles, and allows the cloud to escape and smear out, though very slowly and subdiffusively. When atoms interact (collide) they exchange not only energy and momentum, but change their phases as well. The interaction destroys regular wave patterns, leading to the loss of the phase information. As time goes on the cloud spreads and thins out.
Hot - Decade - Question - Process - Strength
Hot debates over the past decade were devoted to the question whether the process will stop because the effective strength of interaction becomes too low, or not. Experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates of ultracold Potassium atoms have been conducted for up to 10 seconds as researchers try hard to keep the atomic gas stable. Numerical computations were performed for an equivalent of one day. Remarkably theoretical computational physics was already in a unique situation to be way superior to experiments!
The team of IBS researchers, led by Sergej Flach, decided to give the cloud dynamics a novel...
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