Solitonic vortices in Bose–Einstein condensates
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We analyse, theoretically and experimentally, the nature of solitonic vortices (SV) in an elongated Bose-Einstein condensate. In the experiment, such defects are created via the Kibble-Zurek mechanism, when the temperature of a gas of sodium atoms is quenched across the BEC transition, and are imaged after a free expansion of the condensate. By using the Gross-Pitaevskii equation, we calculate the in-trap density and phase distributions characterizing a SV in the crossover from an elongated quasi-1D to a bulk 3D regime. The simulations show that the free expansion strongly amplifies the key features of a SV and produces a remarkable twist of the solitonic plane due to the quantized vorticity associated with the defect. Good agreement is found between simulations and experiments.
KeywordsVortex Soliton European Physical Journal Special Topic Vortex Line Sodium Atom
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