Project level: Honours, Summer

One of the key insights of Landau was to derive a phenomenological formula for the critical velocity in a superfluid.  In a Bose gas this is related to the speed of sound, which is directly related to the strength of repulsive interaction between particles.  By making use of something known as a “Feshbach resonance” in the scattering properties of two atoms, it is experimentally possible to tune the strength of interactions in a Bose gas.  This project will look at a ring system in which their exists a persistent current that left to it’s own devices will never decay.  However, if the interaction strength is sufficiently reduced, the speed of sound will decrease below the speed of the current and the superflow will break down.  This project will characterize the non-equilibrium dynamics as the flow breaks down and thermalises.

Project members

Professor Matthew Davis