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Dynamics of topological defects in multi-component & spinor Bose-Einstein Condensates


   School of Chemistry

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  Dr M Borgh  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Modern experimental techniques have brought atomic quantum gases to the forefront as systems where objects and processes may be studied that find analogues in seemingly distant areas of physics, including condensed-matter physics and early-universe cosmology [i]. These are topological defects and textures, such as superfluid vortices, whose fundamental properties arise very generically from topology. Recent experiments have created vortices representing exotic symmetries arising from the spin of the constituent atoms [ii]. Vortices are also fundamental constituents in important dynamical process, including quantum turbulence [iii], which the current rapid development may soon make experimentally accessible. These superfluid quantum gases of atoms with quantum-mechanical spin degree of freedom provide versatile testbeds for topological defects [iv]. describe a supervisor’s single defined research project/area and must not list multiple or broad research areas.

Modern experimental techniques have brought atomic quantum gases to the forefront as systems where objects and processes may be studied that find analogues in seemingly distant areas of physics, including condensed-matter physics and early-universe cosmology [i]. These are topological defects and textures, such as superfluid vortices, whose fundamental properties arise very generically from topology. Recent experiments have created vortices representing exotic symmetries arising from the spin of the constituent atoms [ii]. Vortices are also fundamental constituents in important dynamical process, including quantum turbulence [iii], which the current rapid development may soon make experimentally accessible. These superfluid quantum gases of atoms with quantum-mechanical spin degree of freedom provide versatile testbeds for topological defects [iv].

In this PhD project, we will use numerical simulations to theoretically study the dynamics of vortices in multi-component and spinor Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), with particular relevance to phase-transition and superfluid-turbulence scenarios. [ii]. The aim of the project is to understand the role of spin and multi-component interactions in the motion and collision of vortices, which become particularly intriguing in systems with complex, underlying broken symmetries [v]. Preliminary results indicate that surprising new energetic scaling regimes arise already in a two-component BEC [ii]. In this project we ask how this picture is modified when the atomic spin is allowed full dynamical freedom.

We will use mean-field methods to model the spinor condensate, which requires numerically solving coupled, non-linear, partial differential equations. The becomes a formidable challenge in large simulations involving many vortices. As a PhD student you will use and develop numerical codes utilising GPU computing to meet these high computational demands. You should have a degree in physics, applied mathematics or equivalent and it is essential that you are comfortable working with computers and computer programming. A background involving quantum mechanics and/or atomic physics is desirable.


Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/university-information/finance-and-procurement/finance-information-for-students/tuition-fees
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

References

i) G. Volovik, "The Universe in a Helium Droplet", Oxford University Press, Oxford (2003).
ii) L.S. Weiss, M.O. Borgh, et al., Nat. Commun. 10, 4772 (2019)
iii) M.T. Wheeler, H. Salman and M.O. Borgh, EPL 135, 30004 (2021)
iv) Y. Kawaguchi and M. Ueda, Phys. Rep. 520, 253 (2012).
v) M. O. Borgh and J. Ruostekoski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 275302 (2016).
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