Chaotic few-body vortex dynamics in rotating Bose--Einstein condensates


We investigate a small vortex-lattice system of four co-rotating vortices in an atomic Bose–Einstein condensate and find that the vortex dynamics display chaotic behaviour after a system quench introduced by reversing the direction of circulation of a single vortex through a phase-imprinting process. By tracking the vortex trajectories and Lyapunov exponent, we show the onset of chaotic dynamics is not immediate, but occurs at later times and is accelerated by the close-approach and separation of all vortices in a scattering event. The techniques we develop could potentially be applied to create locally induced chaotic dynamics in larger lattice systems as a stepping stone to study the role of chaotic events in turbulent vortex dynamics.

Phys. Rev. Fluids, 4, 054701 (2019)