Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 3, February 2006
Page(s) 321 - 327
Section General
Published online 23 December 2005
Europhys. Lett., 73 (3), pp. 321-327 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10408-4

Enhanced quantum reflection of matter-wave solitons

C. Lee1, 2 and J. Brand1

1  Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems Nöthnitzer Straße 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany
2  Nonlinear Physics Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Australian National University Canberra ACT 0200, Australia

received 21 September 2005; accepted in final form 5 December 2005
published online 23 December 2005

Matter-wave bright solitons are predicted to reflect from a purely attractive potential well although they are macroscopic objects with classical particle-like properties. The non-classical reflection occurs at small velocities and a pronounced switching to almost perfect transmission above a critical velocity is found, caused by nonlinear mean-field interactions. Full numerical results from the nonlinear Schrödinger equation are complimented by a two-mode variational calculation to explain the predicted effect, which can be used for velocity filtering of solitons. The experimental realization with laser-induced potentials or two-component Bose-Einstein condensates is suggested.

03.75.Lm - Tunneling, Josephson effect, Bose-Einstein condensates in periodic potentials, solitons, vortices and topological excitations.
03.75.Mn - Multicomponent condensates; spinor condensates.
03.65.-w - Quantum mechanics.

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