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Numerical solution of the Gross--Pitaevskii equation for Bose--Einstein condensation. (English) Zbl 1028.82501
Summary: We study the numerical solution of the time-dependent Gross-Pitaevskii equation (GPE) describing a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) at zero or very low temperature. In preparation for the numerics we scale the 3d Gross-Pitaevskii equation and obtain a four-parameter model. Identifying `extreme parameter regimes’, the model is accessible to analytical perturbation theory, which justifies formal procedures well known in the physical literature: reduction to 2d and 1d GPEs, approximation of ground state solutions of the GPE and geometrical optics approximations. Then we use a time-splitting spectral method to discretize the time-dependent GPE. Again, perturbation theory is used to understand the discretization scheme and to choose the spatial/temporal grid in dependence of the perturbation parameter. Extensive numerical examples in 1d, 2d and 3d for weak/strong interactions, defocusing/focusing nonlinearity, and zero/nonzero initial phase data are presented to demonstrate the power of the numerical method and to discuss the physics of Bose-Einstein condensation.

MSC:
82-08Computational methods (statistical mechanics)
81-08Computational methods (quantum theory)
81V80Applications of quantum theory to quantum optics
82B26Phase transitions (general)
82B10Quantum equilibrium statistical mechanics (general)
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References:
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