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Bosons in one-dimensional incommensurate superlattices


Roscilde,  Tommaso
Theory, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;

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Roscilde, T. (2008). Bosons in one-dimensional incommensurate superlattices. Physical Review A, 77(6): 063605. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.77.063605.

We investigate numerically the zero-temperature physics of the one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard model in an incommensurate cosine potential, recently realized in experiments with cold bosons in optical superlattices [L. Fallani et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 130404 (2007). An incommensurate cosine potential has intermediate properties between a truly periodic and a fully random potential, displaying a characteristic length scale (the quasiperiod) which is shown to set a finite lower bound to the excitation energy of the system at special incommensurate fillings. This leads to the emergence of gapped incommensurate band-insulator (IBI) phases along with gapless Bose-glass (BG) phases for strong quasiperiodic potential for both hard-core and soft-core bosons. Enriching the spatial features of the potential by the addition of a second incommensurate component appears to remove the IBI regions, stabilizing a continuous BG phase over an extended parameter range. Moreover, we discuss the validity of the local-density approximation in the presence of a parabolic trap, clarifying the notion of a local BG phase in a trapped system; we investigate the behavior of first-and second-order coherence upon increasing the strength of the quasiperiodic potential; and we discuss the ab initio derivation of the Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian with quasiperiodic potential starting from the microscopic Hamiltonian of bosons in an incommensurate superlattice.