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Quantum Institute : 2007 Quantum Lunch Seminar Archives


  • Coordinator
    Diego Dalvit
  • Quantum Lunch Location:
    T-Division Conference Room, TA-3,
    Building 123, Room 121

Quantum Institute: Visitor Schedule

The Quantum Lunch is regularly held on Thursdays in the Theoretical Division Conference Room, TA-3, Building 123, Room 121.
For more information, contact Diego Dalvit.

August 9, 2007
Thursday, 12:30PM to 2 PM
T-DO Conference Room, TA-3-123-121

Brian Anderson,
University of Arizona

Spontaneous Formation of Vortices in Bose-Einstein Condensates


The spontaneous breaking of symmetries, often accompanying phase transitions, is of fundamental importance across a wide range of physical phenomena. In particular, for the Bose-Einstein condensation phase transition, it has been proposed that spontaneous symmetry breaking processes may contribute to the creation and trapping of topological defects, or quantized vortices, in the resulting condensate [1]. In an experiment at the University of Arizona, the basic mechanism behind this process was studied by creating condensates in a triple-well potential, and the resulting formation and trapping of vortices was observed [2]. In a more recent project, the spontaneous formation of vortices in condensates created in harmonic and toroidal traps has now also been observed, with both experimental and numerical results [3] that are consistent with the Kibble-Zurek mechanism for topological defect formation. The results of these experiments will be described in this talk. 

[1] Anglin and Zurek, PRL 83, 1707 (1999).
[2] Scherer, Weiler, Neely, and Anderson, PRL 98, 110402 (2007).
[3] University of Arizona/University of Queensland collaboration.

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