Ultracold atomic gases have revolutionized the study of non-equilibrium dynamics in quantum many-body systems. Many counterintuitive non-equilibrium effects have been observed, such as suppressed thermalization in a one-dimensional (1D) gas, the formation of repulsive self-bound dimers, and identical behaviours for attractive and repulsive interactions. Here, we observe the expansion of a bundle of ultracold 1D Bose gases in a flat-bottomed optical lattice potential. By combining in situ measurements with photoassociation, we follow the spatial dynamics of singly, doubly and triply occupied lattice sites. The system sheds interaction energy by dissolving some doublons and triplons. Some singlons quantum distil out of the doublon centre, whereas others remain confined. Our Gutzwiller mean-field model captures these experimental features in a physically clear way. These experiments might be used to study thermalization in systems with particle losses, the evolution of quantum entanglement or, if applied to fermions, to prepare very low entropy states.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)