We study the dynamics of one-dimensional solitons in attractive and repulsive Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) loaded into an optical lattice (OL), which is combined with an external parabolic potential. First, we demonstrate analytically that, in the repulsive BEC, where the soliton is of the gap type, its effective mass is negative. This gives rise to a prediction for the experiment: such a soliton cannot be held by the usual parabolic trap, but it can be captured (performing slow harmonic oscillations, with a period that is estimated to be ~0.01 s in realistic experimental conditions) by an anti-trapping inverted parabolic potential. We also study the motion of the soliton in a long system, concluding that, in the cases of both the positive and negative mass, it moves freely, provided that its amplitude is below a certain critical value; above it, the soliton's velocity decreases due to interaction with the OL. At a later stage, the damped motion becomes chaotic. We also investigate the evolution of a two-soliton pulse in the attractive model. The pulse generates a persistent breather, if its amplitude is not too large; otherwise, fusion into a single fundamental soliton takes place. Collisions between two solitons captured in the parabolic trap or anti-trap are considered too. Depending on their amplitudes and phase difference, the solitons either perform stable oscillations, colliding indefinitely many times, or merge into a single soliton. Effects reported in this work for BECs can also be formulated for optical solitons in nonlinear photonic crystals. In particular, the capture of the negative-mass soliton in the anti-trap implies that a bright optical soliton in a self-defocusing medium with a periodic structure of the refractive index may be stable in an anti-waveguide.
Journal of Physics B Atomic Molecular Physics
- Pub Date:
- April 2004
- Nonlinear Sciences - Pattern Formation and Solitons;
- Nonlinear Sciences - Exactly Solvable and Integrable Systems;
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
- 22pages, 9 figures, submitted to Journal of Physics B