Critical velocity of a mobile impurity in one-dimensional quantum liquids

Michael Schecter, Alex Kamenev, Dimitri Gangardt, Austen Lamacraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We study the notion of superfluid critical velocity in one spatial dimension. It is shown that, for heavy impurities with mass M exceeding a critical mass M-c, the dispersion develops periodic metastable branches resulting in dramatic changes of dynamics in the presence of an external driving force. In contrast to smooth Bloch oscillations for M < M-c, a heavy impurity climbs metastable branches until it reaches a branch termination point or undergoes a random tunneling event, both leading to an abrupt change in velocity and an energy loss. This is predicted to lead to a nonanalytic dependence of the impurity drift velocity on small forces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number207001
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2012


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