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Brownian motion of solitons in a Bose–Einstein condensate

TitleBrownian motion of solitons in a Bose–Einstein condensate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsL. M. Aycock, H. M. Hurst, D. K. Efimkin, D. Genkina, H-I. Lu, V. M. Galitski, and I.. B. Spielman
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

We observed and controlled the Brownian motion of solitons. We launched solitonic excitations in highly elongated Rb87 Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs) and showed that a dilute background of impurity atoms in a different internal state dramatically affects the soliton. With no impurities and in one dimension (1D), these solitons would have an infinite lifetime, a consequence of integrability. In our experiment, the added impurities scatter off the much larger soliton, contributing to its Brownian motion and decreasing its lifetime. We describe the soliton’s diffusive behavior using a quasi-1D scattering theory of impurity atoms interacting with a soliton, giving diffusion coefficients consistent with experiment.


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