Observation of Chaos-Assisted Tunneling Between Islands of Stability

Author :Daniel A. Steck, Windell H. Oskay, Mark G. Raizen
Publication :Science
Volume :293
Pages :274-277
Year :2001

We report the direct observation of quantum dynamical tunneling of atoms
between separated momentum regions in phase space. We study how the
tunneling oscillations are affected as a quantum symmetry is broken and as the
initial atomic state is changed. We also provide evidence that the tunneling rate
is greatly enhanced by the presence of chaos in the classical dynamics. This
tunneling phenomenon represents a dramatic manifestation of underlying classical
chaos in a quantum system.