Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 5-2-2003

Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

ISSN

0031-9007

Volume

90

Issue

17

First Page

170405-1

Last Page

170405-4

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.170405

Abstract

We study the formation of large vortex aggregates in a rapidly rotating dilute-gas Bose-Einstein condensate. When we remove atoms from the rotating condensate with a tightly focused, resonant laser, the density can be locally suppressed, while fast circulation of a ring-shaped superflow around the area of suppressed density is maintained. Thus a giant vortex core comprising 7 to 60 phase singularities is formed. The giant core is only metastable, and it will refill with distinguishable single vortices after many rotation cycles. The surprisingly long lifetime of the core can be attributed to the influence of strong Coriolis forces in the condensate. In addition we have been able to follow the precession of off-center giant vortices for more than 20 cycles.

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