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Controlled Creation and Decay of Singly-Quantized Vortices in a Polar Magnetic Phase

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Article number52
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/03/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Communications Physics
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Quantized vortices appear in physical systems from superfluids and superconductors to liquid crystals and high energy physics. Unlike their scalar cousins, superfluids with complex internal structure can exhibit rich dynamics of decay and even fractional vorticity. Here, we experimentally and theoretically explore the creation and time evolution of vortex lines in the polar magnetic phase of a trapped spin-1 87Rb Bose– Einstein condensate. A process of phase-imprinting a nonsingular vortex, its decay into a pair of singular spinor vortices, and a rapid exchange of magnetic phases creates a pair of three-dimensional, singular singly-quantized vortex lines with core regions that are filled with atoms in the ferromagnetic phase. Atomic interactions guide the subsequent vortex dynamics, leading to core structures that suggest the decay of the singly-quantized vortices into half-quantum vortices.