Kibble-Zurek Scaling and its Breakdown for Spontaneous Generation of Josephson Vortices in Bose-Einstein Condensates

Shih Wei Su, Shih Chuan Gou, Ashton Bradley, Oleksandr Fialko, Joachim Brand

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Atomic Bose-Einstein condensates confined to a dual-ring trap support Josephson vortices as topologically stable defects in the relative phase. We propose a test of the scaling laws for defect formation by quenching a Bose gas to degeneracy in this geometry. Stochastic Gross-Pitaevskii simulations reveal a -1/4 power-law scaling of defect number with quench time for fast quenches, consistent with the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. Slow quenches show stronger quench-time dependence that is explained by the stability properties of Josephson vortices, revealing the boundary of the Kibble-Zurek regime. Interference of the two atomic fields enables clear long-time measurement of stable defects and a direct test of the Kibble-Zurek mechanism in Bose-Einstein condensation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215302
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 23


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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