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Abstract: By moving the pivot of a pendulum rapidly up and down one can create a stableposition with the pendulum-s bob above the pivot rather than below it. Thissurprising and counterintuitive phenomenon is a widespread feature of drivensystems and carries over into the quantum world. Even when the staticproperties of a quantum system are known, its response to an explicitlytime-dependent variation of its parameters may be highly nontrivial, andqualitatively new states can appear that were absent in the original system. Inquantum mechanics the archetype for this kind of behaviour is an atom in aradiation field, which exhibits a number of fundamental phenomena such as themodification of its g-factor in a radio-frequency field and the dipole forceacting on an atom moving in a spatially varying light field. These effects canbe successfully described in the so-called dressed atom picture. Here we showthat the concept of dressing can also be applied to macroscopic matter waves,and that the quantum states of -dressed matter waves- can be coherentlycontrolled. In our experiments we use Bose-Einstein condensates in drivenoptical lattices and demonstrate that the many-body state of this system can beadiabatically and reversibly changed between a superfluid and a Mott insulatingstate by varying the amplitude of the driving. Our setup represents a versatiletesting ground for driven quantum systems, and our results indicate thedirection towards new quantum control schemes for matter waves.

Author: Alessandro Zenesini, Hans Lignier, Donatella Ciampini, Oliver Morsch, Ennio Arimondo


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