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Vortices and hysteresis in a rotating Bose-Einstein condensate with anharmonic confinement

We examine an effectively repulsive Bose-Einstein condensate of atoms that rotates in a quadratic-plus-quartic trapping potential. We investigate the phase diagram of the system as a function of the angular frequency of rotation and of the coupling constant, demonstrating that there are phase transitions between multiply and singly quantized vortex states. We also show that states of different circulation can be metastable and, as a result, the gas can exhibit hysteresis as the angular frequency of rotation of the trap is varied. The simplicity of the picture that emerges for small coupling strengths suggests that this system may be attractive for studies of phase transitions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review A American Physical Society (APS)

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