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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Mar 16;98(11):110402. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

Vortex formation by merging of multiple trapped Bose-Einstein condensates.

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College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


We report observations of vortex formation by merging and interfering multiple (87)Rb Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) in a confining potential. In this experiment, a single harmonic potential well is partitioned into three sections by a barrier, enabling the simultaneous formation of three independent, uncorrelated BECs. The BECs may either automatically merge together during their growth, or for high-energy barriers, the BECs can be merged together by barrier removal after their formation. Either process may instigate vortex formation in the resulting BEC, depending on the initially indeterminate relative phases of the condensates and the merging rate.

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