Dynamical and Wave Chaos in the BoseEinstein Condensate
Abstract
Within the past five years Albert Einstein's concept of a dilute atomic Bose Condensate has been realized in many experimental laboratories. Temperatures in the nanoKelvin regime have been achieved using magnetic and optical trapping of laser and evaporatively cooled atoms. At such temperatures the relative de Broglie wavelengths of the gaseous trapped atoms can become long compared to their mean spacing, and through a process of bosonic amplification a “quantum phase transition” takes place involving 103 to 1011 atoms, most of which end up in identical single particle quantum states, whose length scales are determined by the external trap. Rb, Na, Li and atomic H have been trapped at variable densities of the order of 1013/cm3, and in traps of varying geometries. Of these all but Li have an effective repulsive atomic pair interaction, but utilization of molecular Feshbach resonances allows the interactions of other species to be tuned over wide ranges of strengths, including control of the sign of the effective atomic pair interactions. Fully quantum and macroscopic systems at such low densities are a theorist's dream: simple Hartree type mean field theory provides a startlingly accurate description of density profiles, low energy excitation frequencies, and such a description, commonly called the Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation (NLSE) or the GrossPitaevskii (GP) Equation, will be explored here. The NLSE appropriate for attractive atomic interactions is known to lead to chaotically unstable dynamics, and eventual implosion of the condensate should the local number density exceed a critical value. In this work we illustrate this type of chaotic collapse for attractive condensates, and then explore the types of chaotic dynamics of solitons and vortices, which are the signatures of dynamical nonlinearity in the repulsive case. Finally the implications of the symmetrybreaking associated with phase rigidity are explored in model simulations of repulsive condensates: condensates with repulsive atomic interactions break into phase domains when subject to weak shocks and, perhaps surprisingly, break into chaotic “laserspeckle” type patterns as the shock level increases. The fully quantum mechanical NLSE thus displays a full range of chaotic types of motion: from particlelike chaotic collisions of solitons and vortices to fully developed time dependent wave chaos.
 Publication:

Physica Scripta Volume T
 Pub Date:
 2001
 DOI:
 10.1238/Physica.Topical.090a00202
 Bibcode:
 2001PhST...90..202R
 Keywords:

 05.45.Mt;
 05.30.Jb;
 05.45.Pq;
 05.30.Yv;
 05.30.a