Observation of two-dimensional Anderson localisation of ultracold atoms

Donald H. White, Thomas A. Haase, Dylan J. Brown, Maarten D. Hoogerland*, Mojdeh S. Najafabadi, John L. Helm, Christopher Gies, Daniel Schumayer, David A.W. Hutchinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Anderson localisation —the inhibition of wave propagation in disordered media— is a surprising interference phenomenon which is particularly intriguing in two-dimensional (2D) systems. While an ideal, non-interacting 2D system of infinite size is always localised, the localisation length-scale may be too large to be unambiguously observed in an experiment. In this sense, 2D is a marginal dimension between one-dimension, where all states are strongly localised, and three-dimensions, where a well-defined phase transition between localisation and delocalisation exists as the energy is increased. Here, we report the results of an experiment measuring the 2D transport of ultracold atoms between two reservoirs, which are connected by a channel containing pointlike disorder. The design overcomes many of the technical challenges that have hampered observation of localisation in previous works. We experimentally observe exponential localisation in a 2D ultracold atom system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4942
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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