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Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Simon Cornish

Cornish, S.L., Parker, N.G., Martin, A.M., Judd, T.E., Scott, R.G., Fromhold, T.M. & Adams, C.S. (2009). Quantum reflection of bright matter-wave solitons. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 238(15): 1299-1305.

Author(s) from Durham


We propose the use of bright matter-wave solitons formed from Bose–Einstein condensates with attractive interactions to probe and study quantum reflection from a solid surface at normal incidence. We demonstrate that the presence of attractive interatomic interactions leads to a number of advantages for the study of quantum reflection. The absence of dispersion as the soliton propagates allows precise control of the velocity normal to the surface and for much lower velocities to be achieved. Numerical modelling shows that the robust, self-trapped nature of bright solitons leads to a clean reflection from the surface, limiting the disruption of the density profile and permitting accurate measurements of the reflection probability.