Apr 12, 2018 4:00 pm - Nielsen Hall 170 - Colloquium
Randy Hulet - Rice
The Birth (and Death) of a Matter-Wave Soliton

Solitons have been observed in many wave settings, from classical to quantum. They are localized wavepackets whose dispersion is exactly canceled by an attractive non-linearity. Matter-wave solitons may be created from a Bose-Einstein condensate of attractively-interacting ultracold atoms. Among their many unusual properties, collisions between solitons leaves their amplitude, shape, and speed unaltered, a result of the exact integrability of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. We have explored the relative phase dependence of collisions, and under some circumstances observe that solitons may annihilate or merge, thus breaking integrability in spectacular ways.

Under some conditions a train of up to 30 solitons are formed. Neighboring solitons are observed to repel one another, an effect that was attributed to an alternating π-0-π phase distribution between solitons. I will show how these observations are explained by a modulational instability.




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