Many-body quantum dynamics of an asymmetric bosonic Josephson junction

Sudip Kumar Haldar, Ofir E. Alon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The out-of-equilibrium quantum dynamics of an interacting Bose gas trapped in a one-dimensional asymmetric double-well potential is studied by solving the many-body Schrödinger equation numerically accurately. We examine how the gradual loss of symmetry of the confining trap affects the macroscopic quantum tunneling dynamics of the system between the two wells. In an asymmetric double well, the two wells are not equivalent anymore, say, the left well is deeper than the right one. Accordingly, we analyze the dynamics by initially preparing the condensate in both the left and the right wells. The dynamics of the system is characterized by the time evolution of a few physical quantities of increasing many-body complexity, namely, the survival probability, depletion and fragmentation, and the many-particle position and momentum variances. In particular, we have examined the frequencies and amplitudes of the oscillations of the survival probabilities, the time scale for the development of fragmentation and its degree, and the growth and oscillatory behavior of the many-particle position and momentum variances. There is an overall suppression of the oscillations of the survival probabilities in an asymmetric double well, except for resonant values of asymmetry for which the one-body ground state energy in the right well matches with one of the one-body excited states in the left well, thereby resulting in resonantly enhanced tunneling from the right well ground state. Overall, depending on whether the condensate is initially prepared in the left or right well, the repulsive inter-atomic interactions affect the survival probabilities differently. For a sufficiently strong repulsive interaction, the system is found to become fragmented. The degree of fragmentation depends both on the asymmetry of the trap and the initial well in which the condensate is prepared in a non-trivial manner. Furthermore, we show that the phenomenon of resonantly enhanced tunneling can be accompanied by a large degree of fragmentation (depletion) for the strong (weak) interaction. The many-particle position and momentum variances follow the density oscillations of the system in the asymmetric double well and bears prominent signatures of the degree of depletion or fragmentation, depending on the strength of the interactions. These quantities further exhibit a fine structure signifying a breathing-mode oscillation. Finally, a universality of fragmentation for systems made of different numbers of particles but the same interaction parameter is also found and its dependence on the asymmetry is investigated. The phenomenon is robust despite the asymmetry of the junction and admits a macroscopically-large fragmented condensate characterized by a diverging many-particle position variance. This is as far as one can get from the dynamics of the density in the junction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103037
Number of pages24
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of the Institute of Physics and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


  • BEC
  • asymmetric double well
  • many-body dynamics
  • resonantly enhanced tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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