Quantum Gas Lab  @ Seoul National University

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Research Interests


Superfluidity in two dimensions

Topological excitations and dynamics in spinor condensates

Fermionic superfluidity with strong interactions

Atom interferometry/ atom chip experiments




Research Highlights



Observation of von Kármán Vortex Street in an Atomic Superfluid Gas

Physical Review Letters 117, 245301 (2016)

We report on the experimental observation of vortex cluster shedding from a moving obstacle in an oblate atomic Bose-Einstein condensate. At low obstacle velocities v above a critical value, vortex clusters consisting of two like-sign vortices are generated to form a regular configuration like a von Kármán street, and as v is increased, the shedding pattern becomes irregular with many different kinds of vortex clusters. In particular, we observe that the Stouhal number associated with the shedding frequency exhibits saturation behavior with increasing v. The regular-to-turbulent transition of the vortex cluster shedding reveals remarkable similarities between a superfluid and a classical viscous fluid. Our work opens a new direction for experimental investigations of the superfluid Reynolds number characterizing universal superfluid hydrodynamics.

Related articles in Viewpoint in Physics and Physics Today





Collisional Dynamics of Half-Quantum Vortices in a Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensate

Physical Review Letters 116, 185301 (2016)

학과소식 그림

We present an experimental study on the interaction and dynamics of half-quantum vortices (HQVs) in an antiferromagnetic spinor Bose-Einstein condensate. By exploiting the orbit motion of a vortex dipole in a trapped condensate, we perform a collision experiment of two HQV pairs, and observe that the scattering motions of the HQVs is consistent with the short-range vortex interaction that arises from nonsingular magnetized vortex cores. We also investigate the relaxation dynamics of turbulent condensates containing many HQVs, and demonstrate that spin wave excitations are generated by the collisional motions of the HQVs. The short-range vortex interaction and the HQV-magnon coupling represent two characteristics of the HQV dynamics in the spinor superfluid.



Half-Quantum Vortices in an Antiferromagnetic Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensate

Physical Review Letters 115, 015301 (2015)

We report on the observation of half-quantum vortices (HQVs) in the easy-plane polar phase of an antiferromagnetic spinor Bose-Einstein condensate. Using in situ agnetization-sensitive imaging, we observe that pairs of HQVs with opposite core magnetization are generated when singly charged quantum vortices are injected into the condensate. The dynamics of HQV pair formation is characterized by measuring the temporal evolutions of the pair separation distance and the core magnetization, which reveals the short-range nature of the repulsive interactions between the HQVs. We find that spin fluctuations arising from thermal population of transverse magnon excitations do not significantly affect the HQV pair formation dynamics. Our results demonstrate the instability of a singly charged vortex in the antiferromagnetic spinor condensate.




Bose-Einstein condensation of 174 Ytterbium atoms has been observed on Nov 21st, 2014!!




Relaxation of superfluid turbulence in highly oblate Bose-Einstein condensates

Physical Review A 90, 063627 (2014)

We investigate thermal relaxation of superfluid turbulence in a highly oblate Bose-Einstein condensate. We generate turbulent flow in the condensate by sweeping the center region of the condensate with a repulsive optical potential. The turbulent condensate shows a spatially disordered distribution of quantized vortices, and the vortex number of the condensate exhibits nonexponential decay behavior which we attribute to the vortex pair annihilation. The vortex-antivortex collisions in the condensate are identified with crescent-shaped, coalesced vortex cores. We observe that the nonexponential decay of the vortex number is quantitatively well described by a rate equation consisting of one-body and two-body decay terms. In our measurement, we find that the local two-body decay rate is closely proportional to T^2/\mu, where T is the temperature and \mu is the chemical potential.




Observation of a Geometric Hall Effect in a Spinor BEC with a Skyrmion Spin Texture

Physical Review Letters 111, 245301 (2013)

For a spin-carrying particle moving in a spatially varying magnetic field, effective electromagnetic forces can arise due to the geometric phase associated with adiabatic spin rotation of the particle. We report the observation of a geometric Hall effect in a spinor Bose-Einstein condensate with a skyrmion spin texture. Under translational oscillations of the spin texture, the condensate resonantly develops a circular motion in a harmonic trap, demonstrating the existence of an effective Lorentz force. When the condensate circulates, quantized vortices are nucleated in the boundary region of the condensate and the vortex number increases over 100 without significant heating. We attribute the vortex nucleation to the shearing effect of the effective Lorentz force from the inhomogeneous effective magnetic field.




Observation of Thermally Activated Vortex Pairs in a Quasi-2D Bose Gas

Physical Review Letters 110, 175302 (2013)


We measure the in-plane distribution of thermally activated vortices in a trapped quasi-2D Bose gas, where we enhance the visibility of density-depleted vortex cores by radially compressing the sample before releasing the trap. The pairing of vortices is revealed by the two-vortex spatial correlation function obtained from the vortex distribution. The vortex density decreases gradually as temperature is lowered, and below a certain temperature, a vortex-free region emerges in the center of the sample. This shows the crossover from a Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless phase containing vortex-pair excitations to a vortex-free Bose-Einstein condensate in a finite-size 2D system.




Probing Phase Fluctuations in a 2D Degenerate Bose Gas by Free Expansion

Physical Review Letters 109, 125301 (2012)

We measure the power spectrum of the density distribution of a freely expanding two-dimensional degenerate Bose gas, where irregular density modulations gradually develop due to initial phase fluctuations in the sample. The spectrum has an oscillatory shape, where the peak positions are found to be independent of temperature and show scaling behavior in the course of expansion. The relative intensity of phase fluctuations is estimated from the normalized spectral peak strength and observed to decrease at lower temperatures, confirming the thermal nature of the phase fluctuations.We investigate the relaxation dynamics of nonequilibrium states using the power spectrum. Free vortices are observed with ring-shaped density ripples in a perturbed sample after a long relaxation time.




Observation of Topologically Stable 2D Skyrmions in an Antiferromagnetic BEC

Physical Review Letters 108, 035301 (2012)

We present the creation and time evolution of two-dimensional Skyrmion excitations in an antiferromagnetic spinor Bose-Einstein condensate. Using a spin rotation method, the Skyrmion spin textures were imprinted on a sodium condensate in a polar phase, where the two-dimensional Skyrmion is topologically protected. The Skyrmion was observed to be stable on a short time scale of a few tens of ms but to dynamically deform its shape and eventually decay to a uniform spin texture. The deformed spin textures reveal that the decay dynamics involves breaking the polar phase inside the condensate without having topological charge density flow through the boundary of the finite-sized sample. We discuss the possible formation of half-quantum vortices in the deformation process.




Bose-Einstein condensation of sodium atoms has been observed on June 16th, 2010!!

First quantum gas in Korea !!




QGL@SNU,  Seoul 151-747, Korea. Tel +82(2)880-4233