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Day February 25, 2013

Bifurcations and exceptional points in dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates

Robin Gutöhrlein, Jörg Main, Holger Cartarius, Günter Wunner

Bose-Einstein condensates are described in a mean-field approach by the nonlinear Gross-Pitaevskii equation and exhibit phenomena of nonlinear dynamics. The eigenstates can undergo bifurcations in such a way that two or more eigenvalues and the corresponding wave functions coalesce at critical values of external parameters. E.g. in condensates without long-range interactions a stable and an unstable state are created in a tangent bifurcation when the scattering length of the contact interaction is varied. At the critical point the coalescing states show the properties of an exceptional point. In dipolar condensates fingerprints of a pitchfork bifurcation have been discovered by Rau et al. [Phys. Rev. A, 81:031605(R), 2010]. We present a method to uncover all states participating in a pitchfork bifurcation, and investigate in detail the signatures of exceptional points related to bifurcations in dipolar condensates. For the perturbation by two parameters, viz. the scattering length and a parameter breaking the cylindrical symmetry of the harmonic trap, two cases leading to different characteristic eigenvalue and eigenvector patterns under cyclic variations of the parameters need to be distinguished. The observed structures resemble those of three coalescing eigenfunctions obtained by Demange and Graefe [J. Phys. A, 45:025303, 2012] using perturbation theory for non-Hermitian operators in a linear model. Furthermore, the splitting of the exceptional point under symmetry breaking in either two or three branching singularities is examined. Characteristic features are observed when one, two, or three exceptional points are encircled simultaneously.

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)