Tying quantum knots

D. S. Hall*, M. W. Ray, K. Tiurev, E. Ruokokoski, A. H. Gheorghe, Mikko Möttönen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As topologically stable objects in field theories, knots have been put forward to explain various persistent phenomena in systems ranging from atoms and molecules to cosmic textures in the universe. Recent experiments have reported the observation of knots in different classical contexts. However, no experimental observation of knots has yet been reported in quantum matter. Here we demonstrate the experimental creation and detection of knot solitons in the order parameter of a spinor Bose-Einstein condensate. The observed texture corresponds to a topologically nontrivial element of the third homotopy group and exhibits the celebrated Hopf fibration, which unites many seemingly unrelated physical phenomena. Our work calls for future studies of the stability and dynamics knot solitons in the quantum regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478–483
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATE
  • CLASSICAL FIELD-THEORY
  • VORTEX KNOTS
  • VORTICES
  • SOLITONS
  • MONOPOLES

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