Disorder-induced localization in a strongly correlated atomic Hubbard gas

S. S. Kondov, W. R. McGehee, W. Xu, B. Demarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We observe the emergence of a disorder-induced insulating state in a strongly interacting atomic Fermi gas trapped in an optical lattice. This closed quantum system, free of a thermal reservoir, realizes the disordered Fermi-Hubbard model, which is a minimal model for strongly correlated electronic solids. We observe disorder-induced localization of a metallic state through measurements of mass transport. By varying the lattice potential depth, we detect interaction-driven delocalization of the disordered insulating state. We also measure localization that persists as the temperature of the gas is raised. These behaviors are consistent with many-body localization, which is a novel paradigm for understanding localization in interacting quantum systems at nonzero temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083002
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 26 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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