Expansion of a one-dimensional Bose gas: the role of interactions and kinetic-energy driving

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We study the expansion of a one-dimensional boson gas by initialising it in a small region of a chain, and then suddenly allowing it to expand into the remainder of the chain. We consider three initial ground-state configurations: the Mott insulator, the conventional superfluid, whose momentum density is sharply peaked at zero momentum, and the cat-like state with momentum peaks at +/-pi/2, produced by kinetic driving, the latter being a particular case of a flat-band system. In turn, we consider three types of expansion: spectroscopic (with interactions tuned to zero), dynamic (with standard short-range repulsive interactions), and under kinetic driving. The numerical calculations are exact. We compute the momentum and real-space one-particle densities, as well as the two-particle momentum correlations. We find that the spectroscopic time-of-flight experiment reflects the initial momentum distribution except for the larger number of momentum states and at high momenta. For the dynamic expansion starting from an insulator, we recover the non-equilibrium quasi-condensation into momenta +/-pi/2, provide a physical explanation in terms of interacting bosons that is confirmed by the numerical simulation, and note the existence of nontrivial correlations in the momentum distribution. Under kinetic driving the expansion is comparatively slow, but we conjecture that at high densities it will be much faster. We compare various measures of the two-particle momentum correlations, noting that some of them tend to conceal the possible cat-like structure of a many-body state.
©2022 IOP Publishing This work has been supported by Spain's MICINN through Grant No. FIS2017-84368-P and by Universidad Complutense de Madrid through Grant No. FEI-EU-19-12. One of us (FS) would like to acknowledge the support of the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard and the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, where part of this work was done.