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Kovtun, A. and Zantedeschi, M. (2022): Breaking BEC: Quantum evolution of unstable condensates. In: Physical Review D, Vol. 105, No. 8, 85019

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In this work we numerically explore the quantum behavior of a classically unstable relativistic BoseEinstein condensate (BEC). The main goal is to study the phenomenon of so-called quantum break time which amounts to a significant departure from a semiclassical mean-field description. It has been suggested previously that the existence of Lyapunov instability is crucial for a fast quantum breaking, chaos and scrambling. In order to clarify the issue, we work within the 2-PI effective action formalism and introduce a simple and very widely applicable dynamical criterion for identifying the timescale of quantum breaking. We indeed observe that the fast quantum break time is controlled by the Lyapunov exponent of the unstable BEC.

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