Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2001 Jun 21;411(6840):918-20.

Skyrmions in a ferromagnetic Bose-Einstein condensate.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Multi-component Bose-Einstein condensates provide opportunities to explore experimentally the wealth of physics associated with the spin degrees of freedom. The ground-state properties and line-like vortex excitations of these quantum systems have been studied theoretically. In principle, nontrivial spin textures consisting of point-like topological excitations, or skyrmions, could exist in a multi-component Bose-Einstein condensate, owing to the superfluid nature of the gas. Although skyrmion excitations are already known in the context of nuclear physics and the quantum-Hall effect, creating these excitations in an atomic condensate would offer an opportunity to study their physical behaviour in much greater detail, while also enabling an ab initio comparison between theory and experiment. Here we investigate theoretically the stability of skyrmions in a fictitious spin-1/2 condensate of 87Rb atoms. We find that skyrmions can exist in such a gas only as a metastable state, but with a lifetime comparable to (or even longer than) the typical lifetime of the condensate itself.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center