Spontaneous symmetry breaking in a split potential box

28 Jul 2016  ·  Shamriz Elad, Dror Nir, Malomed Boris A. ·

We report results of the analysis of the spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in the basic (actually, simplest) model which is capable to produce the SSB phenomenology in the one-dimensional setting. It is based on the Gross-Pitaevskii - nonlinear Schroedinger equation with the cubic self-attractive term and a double-well-potential built as an infinitely deep potential box split by a narrow (delta-functional) barrier... The barrier's strength, epsilon, is the single free parameter of the scaled form of the model. It may be implemented in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates and nonlinear optics. The SSB bifurcation of the symmetric ground state (GS) is predicted analytically in two limit cases, viz., for deep or weak splitting of the potential box by the barrier. For the generic case, a variational approximation (VA) is elaborated. The analytical findings are presented along with systematic numerical results. Stability of stationary states is studied through the calculation of eigenvalues for small perturbations, and by means of direct simulations. The GS always undergoes the SSB bifurcation of the supercritical type, as predicted by the VA at moderate values of epsilon, although the VA fails at small epsilon, due to inapplicability of the underlying ansatz in that case. However, the latter case is correctly treated by the approximation based on a soliton ansatz. On top of the GS, the first and second excited states are studied too. The antisymmetric mode (the first excited state) is destabilized at a critical value of its norm. The second excited state undergoes the SSB bifurcation, like the GS, but, unlike it, the bifurcation produces an unstable asymmetric mode. All unstable modes tend to spontaneously reshape into the asymmetric GS. read more

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Optics Quantum Gases Pattern Formation and Solitons