Scientific Results

Spontaneous creation of Kibble–Zurek solitons in a Bose–Einstein condensate

Year: 2013

Authors: Lamporesi G., Donadello S., Serafini S., Dalfovo F., Ferrari G.

Autors Affiliation: INO-CNR BEC Center and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, 38123 Povo, Italy.

Abstract: When a system crosses a second-order phase transition on a finite timescale, spontaneous symmetry breaking can cause the development of domains with independent order parameters, which then grow and approach each other creating boundary defects. This is known as the Kibble–Zurek mechanism. Originally introduced in cosmology, it applies to both classical and quantum phase transitions, in a wide variety of physical systems. Here we report on the spontaneous creation of solitons in Bose–Einstein condensates through the Kibble–Zurek mechanism. We measure the power-law dependence of defect number on the quench time, and show that lower atomic densities enhance defect formation. These results provide a promising test bed for the determination of critical exponents in Bose–Einstein condensates.

Journal/Review: NATURE PHYSICS

Volume: 9 (10)      Pages from: 656  to: 660

More Information: We are indebted to L. P. Pitaevskii, I. Carusotto and A. Recati for fruitful discussions. This work is supported by Provincia Autonoma di Trento.
DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS2734

Citations: 124
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