Generating and Manipulating Quantized Vortices in Highly Oblate Bose-Einstein Condensates
October 18, 2012 - 10:00am
Studies that involve single vortex dynamics, vortex-vortex interactions, and vortex-impurity interactions are essential in developing a deeper understanding of the nature of superfluidity and in particular, superfluid turbulence. In highly oblate systems, vortex dynamics have a two-dimensional (2D) nature and the resulting superfluid characteristics may be substantially different from those in three-dimensional (3D) superfluids. However, there have been remarkably few experimental studies of 2D vortex dynamics in superfluids. Therefore, to study 2D vortex dynamics and interactions, it is necessary to first develop experimental methods that can generate vortices and vortex distributions in nominally 2D systems,
such as highly oblate Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs).
Several experimental methods that were developed to generate or manipulate quantized vortices in highly oblate dilute-gas BECs will be presented in this seminar. Two of these experiments generate multiple singly quantized vortices in a relatively stochastic manner leading to disordered vortex distributions. From these two vortex methods, the physics of high vorticity and highly disordered systems may be observed and studied in a highly oblate system. These methods may prove useful in studies of 2D quantum turbulence. The other two experiments involve newly developed techniques for controlled generation and manipulation of vortices. One of these methods creates multiply quantized pinned vortices with a certain degree of control in the generated vorticity. The other method reliably creates a pair of singly quantized vortices of opposite circulation, whose positions can be easily manipulated after creation, such that they can be placed in any location within the BEC. The two techniques may be scalable to higher number of vortices and may prove useful in superfluid dynamics and vortex interactions that require repeatable vortex distributions. Taken together, these tools and methods may be applicable to many further studies of vortex physics in highly oblate BECs.