Generation of high winding-number superfluid circulation in Bose-Einstein condensates

Wilson, Kali E. and Samson, E. Carlo and Newman, Zachary L. and Anderson, Brian P. (2021) Generation of high winding-number superfluid circulation in Bose-Einstein condensates. Other., Ithaca, NY. (

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We experimentally and numerically demonstrate a method to deterministically generate multiply-quantized superfluid circulation about an obstacle in highly oblate Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). Our method involves spiraling a blue-detuned laser beam, which acts as a repulsive optical potential, around and towards the center of the BEC. This optical potential serves first as a repulsive stirrer to initiate superflow within the BEC, and then as a pinning potential that transports the center of the superfluid circulation to the center of the condensate. By changing the rate at which the beam moves along the spiral trajectory, we selectively control the net circulation introduced into the BEC. We experimentally achieve pinned superflow with winding numbers as high as 11, which persists for at least 4 s. At the end of the spiral trajectory, with the pinning beam on at full power, the BEC has a toroidal geometry with a high winding-number persistent current. Alternatively, the beam power can be ramped off, allowing controlled placement of a cluster of singly-quantized vortices of the same circulation. This technique can serve as a building block in future experimental architectures to create on-demand vortex distributions and superfluid circulation in BECs.