Enhanced transport of spin-orbit-coupled Bose gases indisordered potentials
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Anderson localization is a single particle localization phenomena in disordered media that is accompanied by an absence of diffusion.Spin-orbit coupling (SOC) describes an interaction between a particle's spin and its momentum that directly affects its energy dispersion, for example creating dispersion relations with gaps and multiple local minima. We show theoretically that combining one-dimensional spin-orbit coupling with a transverse Zeeman field suppresses the effects of disorder, thereby increasing the localization length and conductivity. This increase results from a suppression of backscattering between states in the gap of the SOC dispersion relation. Here, we focus specifically on the interplay of disorder from an optical speckle potential and SOC generated by two-photon Raman processes in quasi-1D Bose-Einstein condensates. We first describe back-scattering using a Fermi's golden rule approach, and then numerically confirm this picture by solving the time-dependent 1D Gross Pitaevskii equation for a weakly interacting Bose-Einstein condensate with SOC and disorder. We find that on the 10's of millisecond time scale of typical cold atom experiments moving in harmonic traps, initial states with momentum in the zero-momentum SOC gap evolve with negligible back-scattering, while without SOC these same states rapidly localize.