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Splitting and recombination of bright-solitary-matter waves

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Thomas BillamORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020, The Author(s).Atomic Bose–Einstein condensates confined in quasi-1D waveguides can support bright-solitary-matter waves when interatomic interactions are sufficiently attractive to cancel dispersion. Such solitary-matter waves are excellent candidates for highly sensitive interferometers, as their non-dispersive nature allows them to acquire phase shifts for longer times than conventional matter-wave interferometers. In this work, we demonstrate experimentally the splitting and recombination of a bright-solitary-matter wave on a narrow repulsive barrier, realizing the fundamental components of an interferometer. We show that for a sufficiently narrow barrier, interference-mediated recombination can dominate over velocity-filtering effects. Our theoretical analysis shows that interference-mediated recombination is extremely sensitive to the barrier position, predicting strong oscillations in the interferometer output as the barrier position is adjusted over just a few micrometres. These results highlight the potential of soliton interferometry, while putting tight constraints on the barrier stability needed in future experimental implementations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wales OJ, Rakonjac A, Billam TP, Helm JL, Gardiner SA, Cornish SL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Communications Physics

Year: 2020

Volume: 3

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 13/03/2020

Acceptance date: 20/02/2020

Date deposited: 04/06/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2399-3650

Publisher: Nature Research


DOI: 10.1038/s42005-020-0320-8

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