Suppressing the loss of ultracold molecules via the continuous quantum Zeno effect

B. Zhu, B. Gadway, M. Foss-Feig, J. Schachenmayer, M. L. Wall, K. R.A. Hazzard, B. Yan, S. A. Moses, J. P. Covey, D. S. Jin, J. Ye, M. Holland, A. M. Rey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate theoretically the suppression of two-body losses when the on-site loss rate is larger than all other energy scales in a lattice. This work quantitatively explains the recently observed suppression of chemical reactions between two rotational states of fermionic KRb molecules confined in one-dimensional tubes with a weak lattice along the tubes [Yan et al., Nature (London) 501, 521 (2013)]. New loss rate measurements performed for different lattice parameters but under controlled initial conditions allow us to show that the loss suppression is a consequence of the combined effects of lattice confinement and the continuous quantum Zeno effect. A key finding, relevant for generic strongly reactive systems, is that while a single-band theory can qualitatively describe the data, a quantitative analysis must include multiband effects. Accounting for these effects reduces the inferred molecule filling fraction by a factor of 5. A rate equation can describe much of the data, but to properly reproduce the loss dynamics with a fixed filling fraction for all lattice parameters we develop a mean-field model and benchmark it with numerically exact time-dependent density matrix renormalization group calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number070404
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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