Many experimentally relevant systems are quasi-one-dimensional, consisting of nearly decoupled chains. In these systems, there is a natural separation of scales between the strong intrachain interactions and the weak interchain coupling. When the intrachain interactions are integrable, weak interchain couplings play a crucial part in thermalizing the system. Here, we develop a Boltzmann-equation formalism involving a collision integral that is asymptotically exact for any interacting integrable system, and apply it to develop a quantitative theory of relaxation in coupled Bose gases in the experimentally relevant Newton's cradle setup. We find that relaxation involves a broad spectrum of timescales. We provide evidence that the Markov process governing relaxation at late times is gapless; thus, the approach to equilibrium is generally nonexponential, even for spatially uniform perturbations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy