Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics
Volume 78 Issue 6 June 2012 pp 865-874
We discuss the transport of a tracer particle through the Bose–Einstein condensate of a Bose gas. The particle interacts with the atoms in the Bose gas through two-body interactions. In the limiting regime where the particle is very heavy and the Bose gas is very dense, but very weakly interacting (‘mean-ﬁeld limit’), the dynamics of this system corresponds to classical Hamiltonian dynamics. We show that, in this limit, the particle is decelerated by emission of gapless modes into the condensate (Cerenkov radiation). For an ideal gas, the particle eventually comes to rest. In an interacting Bose gas, the particle is decelerated until its speed equals the propagation speed of the Goldstone modes of the condensate. This is a model of ‘Hamiltonian friction’. It is also of interest in connection with the phenomenon of ‘decoherence’ in quantum mechanics. This note is based on work we have carried out in collaboration with D Egli, I M Sigal and A Soffer.
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