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Towards the cold atom analog false vacuum

Braden, J; Johnson, MC; Peiris, HV; Weinfurtner, S; (2018) Towards the cold atom analog false vacuum. Journal of High Energy Physics , 2018 (7) 10.1007/JHEP07(2018)014. Green open access

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Abstract

Analog condensed matter systems present an exciting opportunity to simulate early Universe models in table-top experiments. We consider a recent proposal for an analog condensed matter experiment to simulate the relativistic quantum decay of the false vacuum. In the proposed experiment, two ultra-cold condensates are coupled via a time-varying radio-frequency field. The relative phase of the two condensates in this system is approximately described by a relativistic scalar field with a potential possessing a series of false and true vacuum local minima. If the system is set up in a false vacuum, it would then decay to a true vacuum via quantum mechanical tunnelling. Should such an experiment be realized, it would be possible to answer a number of open questions regarding non-perturbative phenomena in quantum field theory and early Universe cosmology. In this paper, we illustrate a possible obstruction: the time-varying coupling that is invoked to create a false vacuum for the long-wavelength modes of the condensate leads to a destabilization of shorter wavelength modes within the system via parametric resonance. We focus on an idealized setup in which the two condensates have identical properties and identical background densities. Describing the system by the coupled Gross-Pitaevskii equations (GPE), we use the machinery of Floquet theory to perform a linear stability analysis, calculating the wavenumber associated with the first instability band for a variety of experimental parameters. However, we demonstrate that, by tuning the frequency of the time-varying coupling, it may be possible to push the first instability band outside the validity of the GPE, where dissipative effects are expected to damp any instabilities. This provides a viable range of experimental parameters to perform analog experiments of false vacuum decay.

Type: Article
Title: Towards the cold atom analog false vacuum
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/JHEP07(2018)014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/JHEP07(2018)014
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credi
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052580
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