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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Feb 27;114(8):083002. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Disorder-induced localization in a strongly correlated atomic Hubbard gas.

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Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


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.

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