Atomic Physics Seminars
Scott Smale , University of Toronto
[Host: Cass Sackett]
Non-equilibrium systems are ubiquitous in nature. They are actively studied in a wide range of fields, from biological cell membranes to city traffic planning. For the past several years our lab has been studying the dynamics of non-equilibrium ultracold degenerate Fermi gasses. We probe the dynamics via fast radio-frequency pulses enabled by trapping the atoms close to a microfabricated chip. The kinds of dynamics we have probed include the diffusion of spin in a strongly interacting Fermi gas, the rise of correlations in the gas after a quench of the interaction strength, and the phase transition between two different dynamical phases. Dynamical phases and the transitions between them are one possible framework to extend the powerful ideas of equilibrium statistical mechanics to diverse non-equilibrium systems. In my talk I will discuss our work on dynamics, focussing on our recent observation of dynamical phase transitions in the collective Heisenberg spin model.
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