Novel perspectives from Anderson localization of atomic matter waves
Nicolas Cherroret (Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel, Université Pierre et Marie Curie)
In the last decades, the field of atom optics has allowed for accurate experimental investigations of quantum transport with cold atoms. In this context, the physics of Anderson localization (AL) can today be finely studied, using tunable atomic matter waves in well controlled optical random potentials.
After briefly introducing the main concepts of atom optics in random optical potentials, I will address the problem of the out-of-equilibrium evolution of a non-interacting matter wave in a random potential. The discussion will be focused on two different dynamical scenarios where unexpected manifestations of AL show up. First, I will discuss the spatial spreading of a narrow wave packet, a situation where AL triggers a « mesoscopic echo » peak in the density distribution. This phenomenon has been observed experimentally with cold atoms only recently. In the second scenario, I will consider the evolution of a plane matter wave in the random potential. In this case, the interesting dynamics takes place in momentum space, where AL manifests itself as a surprising « coherent forward scattering peak », twin of the well-known coherent backscattering effect. I will conclude the talk with open questions on the role of atomic interactions.