Theory of excitation of Rydberg polarons in an atomic quantum gas
Woehl, G. Jr.
We present a quantum many-body description of the excitation spectrum of Rydberg polarons in a Bose gas. The many-body Hamiltonian is solved with a functional determinant approach, and we extend this technique to describe Rydberg polarons of finite mass. Mean-field and classical descriptions of the spectrum are derived as approximations of the many-body theory. The various approaches are applied to experimental observations of polarons created by excitation of Rydberg atoms in a strontium Bose-Einstein condensate.