Chapter

Emergent Nonlinear Phenomena in Bose-Einstein Condensates

Volume 45 of the series Atomic, Optical, and Plasma Physics pp 173-189

Vortices in Bose-Einstein Condensates: Theory

  • N. G. ParkerAffiliated withUniversity of Melbourne
  • , B. JacksonAffiliated withNewcastle University
  • , A. M. MartinAffiliated withUniversity of Melbourne
  • , C. S. AdamsAffiliated withDurham University

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Vortices are pervasive in nature, representing the breakdown of laminar fluid flow and hence playing a key role in turbulence. The fluid rotation associated with a vortex can be parameterized by the circulation Γ = ∮ dr · v(r) about the vortex, where v(r) is the fluid velocity field. While classical vortices can take any value of circulation, superfluids are irrotational, and any rotation or angular momentum is constrained to occur through vortices with quantized circulation. Quantized vortices also play a key role in the dissipation of transport in superfluids. In BECs quantized vortices have been observed in several forms, including single vortices [1, 2], vortex lattices [3–6] (see also Part VII), and vortex pairs and rings [7–9]. The recent observation of quantized vortices in a fermionic gas was taken as a clear signature of the underlying condensation and superfluidity of fermion pairs [10]. In addition to BECs, quantized vortices also occur in superfluid helium [11, 12], nonlinear optics, and type-II superconductors [13].