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Vortex Dynamics and Turbulence in Confined Quantum Gases

Proukakis, N (Newcastle University)
Thursday 06 December 2012, 14:40-14:55

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Quantised vortices are known to arise in ultra-low temperature quantum gases as a result of targeted vortex generation (e.g. via phase imprinting or a 'quantum stirrer') or intrinsic system fluctuations. Such vortices interact dynamically, reconnect and can form regular ('lattices') or irregular (turbulent) structures, depending on the system conditions. Focusing initially on the issue of tangled vorticity, we show that the velocity statistics provides a unique identifier of 'quantum' vs. 'ordinary' turbulence, in agreement with related studies in helium. As quantum gas experiments typically feature harmonic confinement, one does not have access to the broad lengthscales relevant for helium, with the total number of vortices typically constrained from a few to a few hundred. In a first attempt to probe 'turbulence' in such systems, we go beyond the usual procedure of looking at the energy spectrum to discuss methods to quantify and ana lyze the amount of clustering of vortices using information extracted from their position and winding, focusing here on the two-dimensional regime. As realistic cold atom experiments are conducted at non-zero temperatures, where the condensate co-exists with a thermal cloud, we also study how temperature modifies the motion of vortices in such systems.

This work has been generously funded by EPSRC.


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