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Formation of Dispersive Shock Waves by Merging and Splitting Bose-Einstein Condensates



Jia J. Chang, Peter Engels, Mark Hoefer


The processes of merging and splitting dilute-gas Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) are studied in the non-adiabatic, high-density regime. Rich dynamics are found. Depending on the experimental parameters, uniform soliton trains containing more than ten solitons, or the formation of a high density bulge, as well as quantum (or dispersive) shock waves are observed experimentally within merged BECs. Our numerical simulations indicate the formation of many vortex rings. In the case of splitting a BEC, the transition from sound wave formation to dispersive shock wave formation is studied by using increasingly stronger splitting barriers. These experiments realize prototypical dispersive shock situations.
Physical Review Letters


Bose-Einstein condensation, dispersive shock waves, quantum shock waves, anisotropic trap


Chang, J. , Engels, P. and Hoefer, M. (2008), Formation of Dispersive Shock Waves by Merging and Splitting Bose-Einstein Condensates, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created October 22, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021