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Thomas Pohl

Critical slowdown of non-equilibrium polaron dynamics

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We study the quantum dynamics of a single impurity following its sudden immersion into a Bose-Einstein condensate. The ensuing formation of the Bose polaron in this general setting can be seen as impurity decoherence driven by the condensate, which we describe within a master equation approach. We derive rigorous analytical results for this decoherence dynamics, and thereby reveal distinct stages of its evolution from a universal stretched exponential initial relaxation to the final approach to equilibrium. The associated polaron formation time exhibits a strong dependence on the impurity speed and is found to undergo a critical slowdown around the speed of sound of the condensate. This rich non-equilibrium behaviour of quantum impurities is of direct relevance to recent cold atom experiments, in which Bose polarons are created by a sudden quench of the impurity-bath interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043014
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Quantum gases, Polarons, Non-equilibrium many-body systems, Impurity-bath decoherence

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