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Matter-wave interference in Bose-Einstein condensates: A dispersive hydrodynamic perspective



Mark Hoefer, Jia J. Chang, Peter Engels


The interference pattern generated by the merging interaction of two Bose-Einstein condensates reveals the coherent, quantum wave nature of matter. An asymptotic analysis of the nonlinear Schr¿odinger equation in the zero dispersion (semi-classical) limit, experimental results, and three-dimensional numerical simulations show that this interference pattern can be interpreted as a modulated soliton train generated by the interaction of two degenerate rarefaction waves propagating through the vacuum.  The soliton train is shown to emerge from a linear, trigonometric interference pattern. The origin of the modulated soliton train is embedded in the Whitham theory of dispersive shock waves. This dispersive hydrodynamic perspective offers a new viewpoint on the mechanism driving matter wave interference.
Physica D-Nonlinear Phenomena


Bose-Einstein Condensate, Whitham theory, Matter Wave Interference, Dispersive Shock wave


Hoefer, M. , Chang, J. and Engels, P. (2008), Matter-wave interference in Bose-Einstein condensates: A dispersive hydrodynamic perspective, Physica D-Nonlinear Phenomena, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created September 6, 2008, Updated June 2, 2021