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Hysteresis in Quantized Superfluid Atomtronic Circuit



Stephen P. Eckel, Jeffrey Lee, Fred Jendrzejewski, Noel Murray, Charles W. Clark, Christopher J. Lobb, William D. Phillips, Edwards Mark, Gretchen K. Campbell


Atomtronics is an emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks new functionality by creating devices and circuits where ultra-cold atoms play a role analogous to the electrons in electronics. Hysteresis in atomtronic circuits may prove to be a crucial feature for the development of practical devices, just as it has in electronic circuits like memory, digital noise filters (e.g., Schmitt triggers), and magnetometers (e.g., superconducting quantum interference devices [SQUIDs]). Here we demonstrate quantized hysteresis in an atomtronic circuit: a ring of superfluid, dilute-gas, Bose-Einstein condenstate (BEC) obstructed by a rotating weak link. Hysteresis is as fundamental to superfluidity (and superconductivity) as quantized persistent currents, critical velocity, and Josephson effects, but has not been previously observed in any atomic-gas, superfluid BECs despite multiple theoretical predictions. By contrast, hysteresis is routinely observed in superconducting circuits, and it is essential in rf-SQUIDs. Superfluid liquid helium experiments observed hysteresis directly but in systems where the quantization of flow could not be observed and only indirectly in systems that showed quantized flow. We directly detect quantized hysteresis, using techniques that allow us to tune the size of the hysteresis loop and study the fundamental excitations that accompany hysteresis.


atomtronics, Bose-Einstein condensation, critical velocity, hysteresis, persistent currents, superfluidity, ultracold atoms


Eckel, S. , Lee, J. , Jendrzejewski, F. , Murray, N. , Clark, C. , Lobb, C. , Phillips, W. , Mark, E. and Campbell, G. (2014), Hysteresis in Quantized Superfluid Atomtronic Circuit, Nature, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created February 14, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018