Sunday, August 4, 2013

0912.5379 (Bo Xiong et al.)

Distortion of Interference Fringes and the Resulting Vortex Production
of Merging Bose-Einstein Condensates

Bo Xiong, Tao Yang, Keith A. Benedict
We investigate the effects of interatomic interactions and expansion on the distortion of interference fringes of a pair of initially well-separated, but coherent, condensate clouds trapped in a harmonic trap. The distortion of interference fringes, which can lead to the spontaneous formation of vortices in the atom clouds, depends crucially on two relevant parameters: the center-of-mass velocity and peak density of the initial state. We identify three qualitatively distinct regimes for the interfering condensates: collision, expansion, and merging, by the spatial and temporal features of the fringe spacings. Using a comprehensive set of numerical simulations based on the Gross-Pitaevskii equation, we specify the cross-overs between these regimes and propose the optimal the system parameters required for dynamical instabilities and vortex creation.
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