Nonlinear dynamics and shock structures in elongated Bose-Einstein condensates
Mossman, Maren Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
Dilute gas Bose-Einstein condensates are ultracold quantum gases that display many peculiar hydrodynamic properties, such as superfluidity, i.e. dissipation-less flow, a variety of solitonic textures and quantized vortex structures. Small amplitude excitations within a Bose-Einstein condensate are described by the Bogoliubov dispersion, and have been extensively studied in the past. This dissertation extends previous studies by focusing on strong, nonlinear excitations and shock structures generated in elongated Rb-87 Bose-Einstein condensates, elucidating novel dynamics in these quantum systems. This dissertation is separated into two major parts. In the first part, the building and characterization of a new Bose-Einstein condensate apparatus at Washington State University is described. This apparatus has been built to generate ultracold clouds of Rb-87 and, more recently, K-41atoms. A description of the setups for both isotopes are provided. The apparatus reliably produces Bose-Einstein condensates of 7 x 10^5 Rb-87 atoms every 20 seconds. In the second part of this dissertation, three experiments in a channel geometry are described that have been conducted with the new apparatus. In this part of the dissertation, quantum hydrodynamic properties are probed by using time-dependent optical potentials to generate nonlinear excitations and shock structures in an elongated Bose-Einstein condensate. An emergence of viscous-like shock dynamics, unidirectionality of a non-magnetic spin switch device, and the structure of dispersive shock waves in new types of higher order dispersions are observed. The work described in this dissertation establishes a novel platform for studying strong nonlinear effects in ultracold quantum gases.