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Elastic Scattering Time of Matter-Waves in Disordered Potentials




We report on an extensive study of the elastic scattering time $τ_\mathrm{s}$ of matter waves in optical disordered potentials. Using direct experimental measurements, numerical simulations, and comparison with the first-order Born approximation based on the knowledge of the disorder properties, we explore the behavior of $τ_\mathrm{s}$ over more than 3 orders of magnitude, ranging from the weak to the strong scattering regime. We study in detail the location of the crossover and, as a main result, we reveal the strong influence of the disorder statistics, especially on the relevance of the widely used Ioffe-Regel-like criterion $k l_\mathrm{s}\sim 1$. While it is found to be relevant for Gaussian-distributed disordered potentials, we observe significant deviations for laser speckle disorders that are commonly used with ultracold atoms. Our results are crucial for connecting experimental investigation of complex transport phenomena, such as Anderson localization, to microscopic theories.

Author(s): Jérémie Richard and Lih-King Lim and Vincent Denechaud and Valentin Volchkov and Baptiste Lecoutre and Musawwadah Mukhtar and Fred Jendrzejewski and Alain Aspect and Adrien Signoles and Laurent Sanchez-Palencia and Vincent Josse
Journal: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 122
Pages: 100403
Year: 2019
Month: March
Publisher: American Physical Society (APS)

Department(s): Optics & Sensing Laboratory
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

Digital: True
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.100403
State: Published


  title = {Elastic Scattering Time of Matter-Waves in Disordered Potentials},
  author = {Richard, Jérémie and Lim, Lih-King and Denechaud, Vincent and Volchkov, Valentin and Lecoutre, Baptiste and Mukhtar, Musawwadah and Jendrzejewski, Fred and Aspect, Alain and Signoles, Adrien and Sanchez-Palencia, Laurent and Josse, Vincent},
  journal = {Physical Review Letters},
  volume = {122},
  pages = {100403},
  publisher = {American Physical Society (APS)},
  month = mar,
  year = {2019},
  month_numeric = {3}