Excitation spectra of many-body systems by linear response: General theory and applications to trapped condensates

Julian Grond, Alexej I. Streltsov, Axel U.J. Lode, Kaspar Sakmann, Lorenz S. Cederbaum, Ofir E. Alon

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We derive a general linear-response many-body theory capable of computing excitation spectra of trapped interacting bosonic systems, e.g., depleted and fragmented Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). To obtain the linear-response equations we linearize the multiconfigurational time-dependent Hartree for bosons (MCTDHB) method, which provides a self-consistent description of many-boson systems in terms of orbitals and a state vector (configurations), and is in principle numerically exact. The derived linear-response many-body theory, which we term LR-MCTDHB, is applicable to systems with interaction potentials of general form. For the special case of a δ interaction potential we show explicitly that the response matrix has a very appealing bilinear form, composed of separate blocks of submatrices originating from contributions of the orbitals, the state vector (configurations), and off-diagonal mixing terms. We further give expressions for the response weights and density response. We introduce the notion of the type of excitations, useful in the study of the physical properties of the equations. From the numerical implementation of the LR-MCTDHB equations and solution of the underlying eigenvalue problem, we obtain excitations beyond available theories of excitation spectra, such as the Bogoliubov-de Gennes (BdG) equations. The derived theory is first applied to study BECs in a one-dimensional harmonic potential. The LR-MCTDHB method contains the BdG excitations and, also, predicts a plethora of additional many-body excitations which are out of the realm of standard linear response. In particular, our theory describes the exact energy of the higher harmonic of the first (dipole) excitation not contained in the BdG theory. We next study a BEC in a very shallow one-dimensional double-well potential. We find with LR-MCTDHB low-lying excitations which are not accounted for by BdG, even though the BEC has only little fragmentation and, hence, the BdG theory is expected to be valid. The convergence of the LR-MCTDHB theory is assessed by systematically comparing the excitation spectra computed at several different levels of theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023606
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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