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Durham University

Durham Emergence Project


Onset of Emergence from the Bottom Up


  • Charles Adams
  • Thomas Billam
  • Simon Gardiner
  • Kevin Weatherill
  • James Keaveney
  • Peter Vickers
  • Nancy Cartwright

Project Description

Within the formal framework of quantum physics there is the capability of building up complex systems atom by atom or photon by photon, and within the currently rapidly developing field of AMO (Atomic, Molecular & Optical) physics there exists the possibility of putting this into practice experimentally.

The emergence of turbulent flow, that is to say the way motion of a fluid changes from being simple and well-ordered to being highly complex and in a sense chaotic, remains a very difficult scientific questions with enormous relevance in a wide variety of contexts (for example aircraft design, or distributing working fluids through pipes). Within the context of atomic physics, in particular very low temperature gases, there is the possibility of shedding considerable light on this age-old problem, and how it appears, within a very clean, and in the sense of being easier to understand (if more difficult to realise experimentally) simplified physical system.


• “Analysis beyond the Thomas-Fermi approximation of the density profiles of a miscible two-component Bose-Einstein con

densate”, Polo, J., Ahufinger, V., Mason, P., Sridhar, S., Billam, T. P., and Gardiner, S. A., Phys. Rev. A 91, 053626 (2015).

• “Stochastic growth dynamics and composite defects in quenched immiscible binary condensates”, Liu, I.-K., Pattinson, R. W.,

Billam, T. P., Gardiner, S. A., Cornish, S. L., Huang, T.-M., Lin, W.-W., Gou, S.-C., Parker, N. G., and Proukakis, N. P., Phys. Rev. A 93, 023628 (2016).

• “Measuring the disorder of vortex lattices in a Bose-Einstein condensate”, Rakonjac, A., Marchant, A. L., Billam, T. P., Helm, J. L., Yu, M. M. H., Gardiner, S. A., and Cornish, S. L., Phys. Rev. A 93 013607, (2016).

• “Quantum reflection of bright solitary matter waves from a narrow attractive potential”, Marchant, A. L., Billam, T. P., Yu, M. M. H., Rakonjac, A., Helm, J. L., Polo, J., Weiss, C., Gardiner, S. A., and Cornish, S. L., Phys. Rev. A 93, 021604 (2016).

• Submitted: “Vortex clustering transition in a confined 2D quantum fluid”, Yu, X., Billam, T. P., Nian, J., Reeves, M. T., and Bradley, A. S., arXiv 1512.05517 (2016).

Presentations of funded research:

• Invited seminar: “Emergent phenomena in two-dimensional quantum turbulence” (University of East Anglia, February 2015).

• Interdisciplinary talk: “A storm in a (quantum) teacup” at the Durham Emergence Workshop (Durham, June 2015).

• Invited conference talk: “Emergent phenomena in two-dimensional quantum vortex dynamics” at Non-Equilibrium Quantum Dynamics in Low Dimensions (Durham, July 2015).

• Contributed conference talk: “Emergent Reynolds number in two-dimensional superfluid turbulence” at CCPQ Non-Equilibrium Quantum Systems Meeting (Windsor, August 2015).

• Contributed conference talk: “Far-from-equilibrium quantum vortex dynamics” at FInite temperature Non-Equilibrium Superfluid Systems [FINESS] (Sopot, Poland, September 2015).