Quantum Tunneling of a Vortex between Two Pinning Potentials


A vortex can tunnel between two pinning potentials in an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate on a time scale of the order of 1s under typical experimental conditions. This makes it possible to detect the tunneling experimentally. We calculate the tunneling rate by phenomenologically treating vortices as charged particles moving in an inhomogeneous magnetic field. The obtained results are in close agreement with numerical simulations based on the stochastic c-field theory.

Physical Review Letters