We report the experimental observation of tunable, nonreciprocal quantum transport of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a momentum lattice. By implementing a dissipative Aharonov-Bohm (AB) ring in momentum space and sending atoms through it, we demonstrate a directional atom flow by measuring the momentum distribution of the condensate at different times. While the dissipative AB ring is characterized by the synthetic magnetic flux through the ring and the laser-induced loss on it, both the propagation direction and transport rate of the atom flow sensitively depend on these highly tunable parameters. We demonstrate that the nonreciprocity originates from the interplay of the synthetic magnetic flux and the laser-induced loss, which simultaneously breaks the inversion and the time-reversal symmetries. Our results open up the avenue for investigating nonreciprocal dynamics in cold atoms, and highlight the dissipative AB ring as a flexible building element for applications in quantum simulation and quantum information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)