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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
  • Doerte Blume
  • (405) 325-6079
Award Date:11/30/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 8,764
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 8,765
  • FY 2016=$8,765
Start Date:08/16/2017
End Date:07/31/2018
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Temperature Dependence and Dynamics of Cold Few-Atom Systems
Federal Award ID Number:1762949
DUNS ID:848348348
Parent DUNS ID:046862181
Program Officer:
  • Bogdan Mihaila
  • (703) 292-8235

Awardee Location

Street:201 Stephenson Parkway
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Street:201 Stephenson Parkway
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

Achieving the control of matter at the quantum level requires the detailed understanding of many-body systems at the quantum level. This project is expected to enhance the understanding of quantum mechanical processes of fundamental importance, in particular the thermodynamical properties of ultracold few-body systems of fermionic atoms. Ultimately, understanding quantum mechanical phenomena from a bottom-up perspective will have important technological implications for a wide range of every-day tasks ranging from improved cell phone technology to improved surgical tools. Today's world is technology driven and requires a highly skilled workforce. This project will train the next generation of young scientists. Undergraduate and graduate students will be involved in all aspects of the project, and the analytical and computational skills that the students gain will prepare them well for future pursuits in industry and academia. This project will advance science by developing numerical and analytical tools that allow for the study of the temperature dependence and dynamics of quantum mechanical few-body systems. Few-body physics has played an important role in the development of quantum mechanics from the very beginning. For example, the helium atom, one of the simplest atoms of the periodic table and an effective three-body system, has been instrumental in developing a concise understanding of electron-electron correlations as well as fragmentation and (auto-) ionization. The experimental realization of ultracold fermionic gases consisting of a small number of particles (two, three, four, etc.) provides a new theoretically accessible model system with which to study quantum mechanical few-body phenomena at zero and finite temperature. Moreover, time-dependent measurements can be compared directly with theoretical predictions. This project aims to conduct theoretical studies of cold few-atom systems. Finite-temperature calculations for trapped few-atom systems will be performed using an efficient and flexible path-integral Monte Carlo code developed by the investigator, which has been shown to yield reliable results for small bosonic and fermionic systems over a wide range of temperatures. The path-integral Monte Carlo code will be made available to the broader scientific community as part of the Venture Fund for Software Reuse program. Time-dependent studies will be performed using an efficient and highly accurate grid-based time propagation scheme that expands the time evolution operator in terms of Chebychev polynomials.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Y. Yan, D. Blume "Path integral Monte Carlo ground state approach: Formalism, implementation, and applications" Journal of Physics B, v.50, 2017, p.223001.

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The following outcomes were achieved under grant NSF-1762949.


(i) Few-fermion systems at finite temperature: Various observables were calculated for smal trapped Fermi gases as a function of the temperature. The studies conducted provide a detailed understanding of the condensate and superfluid fractions of small fermionic systems. The results are of great relevance not only to cold atom systems but also to nuclei, quantum dots, and quantum liquids.

(ii) n-body Efimov physics at finite temperature: Aspects of the finite-temperature phase diagram of few-boson systems were constructed.

(iii) Few-particle tunneling dynamics: Time and spatially resolved calculations of few atom tunneling processes were carried out. Detailed information about the mechanisms through which tunneling occurs was obtained. The studies conducted provide answers to long-standing questions related to what role the interactions and statistics plays in correlated quantum tunneling.

(iv) Quench dynamics of few-body systems: Non-equilibrium dynamics plays a crucial role across different physics areas. Motivated by this, the dynamics of small systems following a quench was investigated. The studies established time scales at which few-body physics takes place. This information is relevant for interpreting the corresponding many-body dynamics.


 Grant NSF-1762949 has helped train two postdoctoral researchers, preparing them with relevant technical skiils for future endeavers in academia, gorvernment labs, or the private sector.


Grant NSF-1762949 also facilitated the posting of the path integral Monte Carlo code authored by Yangqian Yan on Github ( The code can thus be used freely by other researchers.



Last Modified: 07/13/2018
Modified by: Doerte Blume

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