Superfluid-to-Solid Crossover in a Rotating Bose-Einstein Condensate
D L. Feder, Charles W. Clark
The properties of a rotating Bose-Einstein condensate confined in a prolate cylindrically symmetric trap are explored both analytically and numerically. As the rotation frequency increases, an ever greater number of vortices are energetically favored. Though the cloud anisotropy and moment of inertia approach those of a classical fluid at high frequencies, the observed vortex density is consistently lower than the solid-body estimate. Furthermore, the vortices are found to arrange themselves in highly regular triangular arrays, with little distortion even near the condensate surface. These results are shown to be a direct consequence of the inhomogeneous confining potential.