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The truncated Wigner method for Bose-condensed gases: limits of validity and applications

Sinatra, Alice, Lobo, Carlos and Castin, Yvan (2002) The truncated Wigner method for Bose-condensed gases: limits of validity and applications Journal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular Physics, 35, (17), pp. 3599-3631. (doi:10.1088/0953-4075/35/17/301).

Record type: Article


We study the truncated Wigner method applied to a weakly interacting spinless Bose-condensed gas which is perturbed away from thermal equilibrium by a time-dependent external potential. The principle of the method is to generate an ensemble of classical fields ?(r) which samples the Wigner quasi-distribution function of the initial thermal equilibrium density operator of the gas, and then to evolve each classical field with the Gross–Pitaevskii equation. In the first part of the paper we improve the sampling technique over our previous work (Sinatra et al2000 J. Mod. Opt. 47 2629–44) and we test its accuracy against the exactly solvable model of the ideal Bose gas. In the second part of the paper we investigate the conditions of validity of the truncated Wigner method. For short evolution times it is known that the time-dependent Bogoliubov approximation is valid for almost pure condensates. The requirement that the truncated Wigner method reproduces the Bogoliubov prediction leads to the constraint that the number of field modes in the Wigner simulation must be smaller than the number of particles in the gas. For longer evolution times the nonlinear dynamics of the noncondensed modes of the field plays an important role. To demonstrate this we analyse the case of a three-dimensional spatially homogeneous Bose-condensed gas and we test the ability of the truncated Wigner method to correctly reproduce the Beliaev–Landau damping of an excitation of the condensate. We have identified the mechanism which limits the validity of the truncated Wigner method: the initial ensemble of classical fields, driven by the time-dependent Gross–Pitaevskii equation, thermalizes to a classical field distribution at a temperature Tclass which is larger than the initial temperature T of the quantum gas. When Tclass significantly exceeds T a spurious damping is observed in the Wigner simulation. This leads to the second validity condition for the truncated Wigner method, Tclass ? T T, which requires that the maximum energy max of the Bogoliubov modes in the simulation does not exceed a few kB T.

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Published date: 2002
Organisations: Applied Mathematics


Local EPrints ID: 205937
ISSN: 0953-4075
PURE UUID: 3f0a9d6c-5ea0-42dc-a569-a14c6d0eeb21
ORCID for Carlos Lobo: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 15 Dec 2011 09:43
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:03

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Author: Alice Sinatra
Author: Carlos Lobo ORCID iD
Author: Yvan Castin

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