Emergence of order from turbulence in an isolated planar superfluid

Tapio Petteri Simula, Matthew J Davis, Kristian Peter Helmerson

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101 Citations (Scopus)


We study the relaxation dynamics of an isolated zero temperature quasi-two-dimensional superfluid Bose-Einstein condensate that is imprinted with a spatially random distribution of quantum vortices. Following a period of vortex annihilation the remaining vortices self-organize into two macroscopic coherent “Onsager vortex” clusters that are stable indefinitely—despite the absence of driving or external dissipation in the dynamics. We demonstrate that this occurs due to a novel physical mechanism—the evaporative heating of the vortices—that results in a negative-temperature phase transition in the vortex degrees of freedom. At the end of our simulations the system is trapped in a nonthermal state. Our computational results provide a pathway to observing Onsager vortex states in a superfluid Bose gas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165302
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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