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results for au:Berges_J in:physics

How do isolated quantum systems approach an equilibrium state? We experimentally and theoretically address this question for a prototypical spin system formed by ultracold atoms prepared in two Rydberg states with different orbital angular momenta. By coupling these states with a resonant microwave driving we realize a dipolar XY spin-1/2 model in an external field. Starting from a spin-polarized state we suddenly switch on the external field and monitor the subsequent many-body dynamics. Our key observation is density dependent relaxation of the total magnetization much faster than typical decoherence rates. To determine the processes governing this relaxation we compare with different theoretical approaches which treat quantum effects on initial conditions and dynamical laws separately. This allows us to identify an intrinsically quantum component to the relaxation attributed to primordial quantum fluctuations.

Turbulent scaling phenomena are studied in an ultracold Bose gas away from thermal equilibrium. Fixed points of the dynamical evolution are characterized in terms of universal scaling exponents of correlation functions. The scaling behavior is determined analytically in the framework of quantum field theory, using a nonperturbative approximation of the two-particle irreducible effective action. While perturbative Kolmogorov scaling is recovered at higher energies, scaling solutions with anomalously large exponents arise in the infrared regime of the turbulence spectrum. The extraordinary enhancement in the momentum dependence of long-range correlations could be experimentally accessible in dilute ultracold atomic gases. Such experiments have the potential to provide insight into dynamical phenomena directly relevant also in other present-day focus areas like heavy-ion collisions and early-universe cosmology.