Migration of bosonic particles across a mott insulator to a superfluid phase interface

Michael J. Hartmann, Martin B. Plenio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We consider a boundary between a Mott insulator and a superfluid region of a Bose-Hubbard model at unit filling. Initially both regions are decoupled and cooled to their respective ground states. We show that, after switching on a small tunneling rate between both regions, all particles of the Mott region migrate to the superfluid area. This migration takes place whenever the difference between the chemical potentials of both regions is less than the maximal energy of any eigenmode of the superfluid. We verify our results numerically with density matrix renormalization group simulations and explain them analytically with a master equation approximation, finding good agreement between both approaches. Finally we carry out a feasibility study for the observation of the effect in coupled arrays of microcavities and optical lattices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number070602
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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