Creating solitons with controllable and near-zero velocity in Bose-Einstein condensates
Established techniques for deterministically creating dark solitons in repulsively interacting atomic Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) can only access a narrow range of soliton velocities. Because velocity affects the stability of individual solitons and the properties of soliton-soliton interactions, this technical limitation has hindered experimental progress. Here we create dark solitons in highly anisotropic cigar-shaped BECs with arbitrary position and velocity by simultaneously engineering the amplitude and phase of the condensate wave function, improving upon previous techniques which explicitly manipulated only the condensate phase. The single dark soliton solution present in true one-dimensional (1D) systems corresponds to the kink soliton in anisotropic three-dimensional systems and is joined by a host of additional dark solitons, including vortex ring and solitonic vortex solutions. We readily create dark solitons with speeds from zero to half the sound speed. The observed soliton oscillation frequency suggests that we imprinted solitonic vortices, which for our cigar-shaped system are the only stable solitons expected for these velocities. Our numerical simulations of 1D BECs show this technique to be equally effective for creating kink solitons when they are stable. We demonstrate the utility of this technique by deterministically colliding dark solitons with domain walls in two-component spinor BECs.
Creating solitons with controllable and near-zero velocity in Bose-Einstein condensates; A. R. Fritsch, M. Lu, G. H. Reid, A. M. Piñeiro, and I. B. Spielman; Phys. Rev. A 101 053629 (2020). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.101.053629 Featured as an editors selection in Phys. Rev. A Written up in APS Physics