Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Charles Hanna


The two-site version of the Bose-Hubbard model can be used as a simplified model of N bosons confined to two quantum wells. We study the behavior of low-temperature Bose-Einstein condensates as a function of the strength of the repulsive interactions between the bosons and of the size of the quantum-mechanical tunneling between the quantum wells. The ground-state of weakly interacting bosons tends to be one in which almost all particles are in the same quantum-mechanical state (‘Bose-Einstein Condensate’, or ‘BEC’). It is found that even very small amounts of interwell tunneling lead to a BEC, but that zero tunneling leads to two separate BECs, one in each well (‘fragmentation’). We study systematically the transition between a single BEC comprised of bosons in both wells, and a fragmented condensate consisting of two BECs, one for each well. Our analysis will use matrix computational methods to solve the Schrödinger equation of the two-well boson system, and obtain the energies and wavefunctions as eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the Hamiltonian matrix. We will compare the results obtained with previous analyses, and against analytical approximations developed for the limiting case of a large number of bosons (large N).

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