Phase and micromotion of Bose-Einstein condensates in a time-averaged ring trap

Thomas A. Bell, Guillaume Gauthier, Tyler W. Neely, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Matthew J. Davis and Mark A. Baker

Rapidly scanning magnetic and optical dipole traps have been widely utilized to form time-averaged potentials for ultracold quantum gas experiments. Here we theoretically and experimentally characterize the dynamic properties of Bose-Einstein condensates in ring-shaped potentials that are formed by scanning an optical dipole beam in a circular trajectory. We find that unidirectional scanning leads to a nontrivial phase profile of the condensate that can be approximated analytically using the concept of phase imprinting. While the phase profile is not accessible through in-trap imaging, time-of-flight expansion manifests clear density signatures of an in-trap phase step in the condensate, coincident with the instantaneous position of the scanning beam. The phase step remains significant even when scanning the beam at frequencies 2 orders of magnitude larger than the characteristic frequency of the trap. We map out the phase and density properties of the condensate in the scanning trap, both experimentally and using numerical simulations, and find excellent agreement. Furthermore, we demonstrate that bidirectional scanning flattens the phase profile, rendering the system more suitable for coherent matter-wave interferometry.

This article was published by UQ.