Generalised hydrodynamics on an atom chip
Isabelle Bouchoule (Institut d’Optique)
Describing the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of many-body quantum systems is a priori a tremendously difficult task. However, a recent theoretical development provides an ab-initio description of the long wavelength dynamics of 1D integrable quantum systems, the so-called Generalised Hydrodynamics (GHD). In contrast to conventional hydrodynamics, GHD does not assume that gas is locally described by the Gibbs ensemble but it keeps track of all conserved quantities of the integrable system. In cold atom experiments, 1D bosonic gases are realised, which are well described by the famous integrable Lieb-Liniger model. Cold atom experiments thus offer an ideal platform to test GHD.
We use the atom-chip experiment of LCF, where 1D gases of 87Rb are realized, to test experimentally GHD. Starting from a cold atomic cloud at thermal equilibrium, dynamics is generated by a sudden quench of the longitudinal potential. The measured time evolution of the density profiles are in excellent agreement with predictions from GHD. We also compare our data with predictions from the conventional hydrodynamics method, which assumes locally a thermal equilibrium described by a Gibbs ensemble. Except for the special case of harmonic potentials, we find that conventional hydrodynamics completely fails to reproduce our data. Hydrodynamics even predicts the development of sharp structures leading to a chock phenomena, such a phenomena being absent in the data and in the GHD description.