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Quantum reflection of bright solitary matter waves from a narrow attractive potential.

Marchant, A.L. and Billam, T.P. and Yu, M.M.H. and Rakonjac, A. and Helm, J.L. and Polo, J. and Weiss, C. and Gardiner, S.A. and Cornish, S.L. (2016) 'Quantum reflection of bright solitary matter waves from a narrow attractive potential.', Physical review A., 93 (2). 021604(R).


We report the observation of quantum reflection from a narrow attractive potential using bright solitary matter waves formed from a Rb 85 Bose-Einstein condensate. We create the attractive potential using a tightly focused, red-detuned laser beam, and observe reflection of up to 25% of the atoms, along with the confinement of atoms at the position of the beam. We show that the observed reflected fraction is much larger than theoretical predictions for a simple Gaussian potential well. A more detailed model of bright soliton propagation, accounting for the generic presence of small subsidiary intensity maxima in the red-detuned beam, suggests that these small intensity maxima are the cause of this enhanced reflection.

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Publisher statement:Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Physical Review A 93, 021604(R) © (2016) by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.
Date accepted:14 January 2016
Date deposited:05 February 2016
Date of first online publication:03 February 2016
Date first made open access:05 February 2016

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