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Aperiodic Structures and Anderson Localization

Original Version: Bryan Statt, 2001 Revised: August 2006 by Jason Harlow Minor corrections: January 2011 by Jason Harlow Minor modifications: September 2011 by David Bailey

Anderson Localization Experiment

Introduction Periodic systems have energy eigenvalues which are found in bands with accompanying band gaps where no states exist. The eigenstates are extended states occupying the whole system. These systems are typically modeled as coupled oscillators. Examples are crystal lattices, semiconductor heterostructures and photonic bandgap structures. You may be familiar with the band gap in semiconductor crystals where no electronic states exist. In a metallic crystal electrons propagate in states, much like plane wave states, which are extended throughout the crystal. Nominally theses states have the same amplitude throughout the crystal. Adding disorder to periodic systems allows some of the states to become localized. This phenomenon, first discussed by P.W. Anderson, is referred to as Anderson Localization. The energy eigenvalues of the localized modes occur in the band gap of the system. These localization effects are strongest in one-dimensional systems. An interesting example of Anderson Localization is to localize photons in a photonic bandgap structure. One does not normally think of photons as standing still! This experiment is based on a similar experiment by developed by He and Maynard described in Physical Review Letters. Apparatus Our one-dimensional system consists of masses on an Aluminum plate. There are 28 equal masses, whose positions can be adjusted, on a 3 meter long plate. The wave equation for this system comes from the Euler-Bernoulli equation (see Wave Motion in Elastic Solids by K. Graff 1975): ' Yd 2 $ ! 4 u ! 2u + [ ( + V ( x)] 2 = 0 % " 4 !t & 12 # !x where ! is the plate density, d is the plate thickness, Y is Youngs Modulus of the plate and V(x) is the potential due to the masses. u(x,t) is the displacement of the plate parallel to the plate thickness, where t is time and x is the distance along the length of the plate. Notice that this equation contains a fourth order spatial derivative, resulting from the fact that the plate provides its own restoring stiffness, proportional to its curvature, in marked contrast to the equation for a string, which requires externally applied tension in order to support wave motion. The tension due to the fact that the plate is hanging vertically is negligible for the waves we are studying, and so gravity is ignored in this analysis. The potential can be modeled, assuming infinitesimal mass dimensions, as

V ( x) =

where M is the mass, w is the plate width and xn are the positions of the masses with n = 1-28. For a periodic placement of the masses, xn = nl where l is the mean mass separation, 10 cm in our case. The thickness of this aluminum plate is a quarter-inch: d = 0.3175 cm , its width is an inch: w = 2.54 cm and the attached masses have M = 75g. The sensors are piezoelectric crystals, Piezo Ceramic Benders, with the centre portion of the contact pad removed. Thus they are most sensitive to flexing perpendicular to the cut. Their resonance frequency is 6.4 KHz. How is this relevant to this experiment? Sensor numbers run from 0-7. Experiment The experiment involves investigating first a periodic lattice and then a lattice with disorder introduced into the mass spacing. Use the Labview programs to collect the frequency spectrum and to collect the mode pattern at a fixed frequency. For the periodic lattice identify the first two bands as well as the resulting band gap. How many modes are there in the bands and how many do you expect? Estimate the fundamental frequency of this one-dimensional plate. Does

M ! ( x " xn ) wd

it agree with your findings for the lowest band? Find the mode patterns (eigenfunctions) for some of the resonances in both bands. Comment on the extended nature of these modes. Now introduce disorder into the lattice. The masses can be moved by loosening the wing nuts, moving the mass, then tighten the wing nuts. Numerical simulations indicate that an rms displacement of 1.5 cm will introduce detectable localized modes. Rather than trust yourself to randomly move the masses you may want to use a random number generator to select the mass displacements. Collect the frequency spectrum as before. Are there any new modes in the band gaps of the periodic lattice? Compare the mode patterns of some resonances in the periodic band. Are they still extended states? Now collect the mode pattern of the new states in the band gap. Are these states localized or extended? You may have to try several different mass disorder configurations to find obvious localized modes. EXPERIMENTAL NOTE: Currently ( as of 20 September 2011) you must start running the LabView vi file and wait for the error message saying that the function generator is not on, and only then turn on the function generator. If you turn on the function generator first, you will not be able to run a scan or control the function generator; you will only get an inaccurate error message. Hints Note that you can detect the mode pattern yourself by running your ear along the plate while it is being excited. An amplitude of 6Vp-p is sufficient for a useful signal to noise ratio. The sample delay time should be at least 2 sec. to allow a steady state pattern to evolve. The apparatus is only capable of operating up to 4KHz. Sufficient signal averaging is required to collect good mode patterns.

1. Anderson, P.W. (1958): Absence of diffusion in certain random lattices, Phys. Rev. 109(5), 1492 1505. 2. Graff, Karl F. (1975), Wave Motion in Elastic Solids, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 3. He, S. and Maynard, J.D. (1986), Detailed measurements of inelastic scattering in Anderson localization, Phys. Rev. Lett. 57(25), 3171-3174.