NONLINEAR PHENOMENA AND STRIPE PHASES IN BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATES
Bersano, Thomas Michael
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Dilute-gas Bose-Einstein condensates offer a versatile testbed for the investigation of quantum phenomena. On the mean-field level, these ultracold atomic systems are described by the Gross-Pitaevskii equation which captures the nonlinearities induced by particle interactions. The analytical simplicity of behavior in the linear regime, i.e. in the absence of interparticle interactions, allows for the study of novel particle dispersions, generation of solid-state analogues, and the construction of atom interferometers. Nonlinearities lead to the formation of additional features such as solitonic matter-waves and dispersion loops. The first two studies in this dissertation investigate strongly nonlinear phenomena in 87Rb Bose-Einstein condensates. The inherently nonlinear matter-wave structures known as solitons have been previously realized in one- and two-component systems, Here, that work is extended to three-component systems where two new species of soliton are observed. The second study considers the effects of interactions in optical lattice systems. Nonlinear behavior in an optical lattice is generally avoided, especially in atom interferometry applications. When nonlinear behavior dominates over the optical lattice potential a novel band loop appears in the lowest band of the dispersion. In this dissertation, Rabi oscillations and Bloch oscillations are observed in condensates in weak optical lattices and the resultant non-adiabatic behavior is discussed. In the final two studies, novel quantum phases are generated by combining spin-orbit (SO) coupling with a second coupling type. For instance, supplementing the SO-coupling with optical lattice assisted hopping between the minima of the SO-coupled dispersion leads to the generation of the SO-coupled stripe phase. This phase is closely related to a supersolid, an exotic state of matter which simultaneously possesses the properties of a superfluid and a crystalline solid. By instead adding a radio-frequency field that also couples two Zeeman sublevels, an emergent lattice is formed which can exhibit Galilean invariant Kapitza-Dirac scattering and Bloch oscillations. Both of these compound coupling schemes are discussed.