Three-dimensional skyrmions in Bose-Einstein condensates

Aalto Quantum Physics Seminar (Nanotalo). Speaker: Mr. Tuomas Ollikainen (QCD, Aalto University).

Skyrmions are topological excitations first considered in the field theories in particle physics in the 1960s. Recently, two-dimensional skyrmions have gained interest in systems such as crystalline liquids, magnetic materials, and superfluids. Here, we experimentally observe three-dimensional skyrmions in an atomic spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensate [1]. Skyrmionic spin texture gives rise to fascinating synthetic electromagnetic phenomena, including knotted magnetic field lines.

Furthermore, we conduct a numerical study on exotic 3D skyrmions hosted by the cyclic and biaxial nematic phases of a spin-2 Bose-Einstein condensate [2]. These skyrmions exhibit exceptionally high mapping degrees resulting from the versatile symmetries of the corresponding order parameters.

[1] W. Lee, A. H. Gheorghe, K. Tiurev, T. Ollikainen, M. Möttönen, and D. S. Hall, Science Advances 4, eaao3820 (2018).
[2] K. Tiurev, T. Ollikainen, P. Kuopanportti, M. Nakahara, D. S. Hall, and M. Möttönen, New Journal of Physics 20, 055011 (2018).

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