Symmetric and asymmetric solitons in linearly coupled Bose-Einstein condensates trapped in optical lattices

Arthur Gubeskys*, Boris A. Malomed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study spontaneous symmetry breaking in a system of two parallel quasi-one-dimensional traps (cores), equipped with optical lattices (OLs) and filled with a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). The cores are linearly coupled by tunneling (the model may also be interpreted in terms of spatial solitons in parallel planar optical waveguides with a periodic modulation of the refractive index). Analysis of the corresponding system of linearly coupled Gross-Pitaevskii equations (GPEs) reveals that spectral band gaps of the single GPE split into subgaps. Symmetry breaking in two-component BEC solitons is studied in cases of the attractive (AA) and repulsive (RR) nonlinearity in both traps; the mixed situation, with repulsion in one trap and attraction in the other (RA), is considered too. In all the cases, stable asymmetric solitons are found, bifurcating from symmetric or antisymmetric ones (and destabilizing them), in the AA and RR systems, respectively. In either case, bistability is predicted, with a nonbifurcating stable branch, either antisymmetric or symmetric, coexisting with asymmetric ones. Solitons destabilized by the bifurcation tend to rearrange themselves into their stable asymmetric counterparts. In addition to the fundamental solitons, branches of twisted (odd) solitons in the AA system, and twisted bound states of fundamental solitons in both AA and RR systems, are found too. The impact of a phase mismatch, Δ, between the OLs in the two cores is also studied. It is concluded that Δ=π2 only mildly deforms the picture, while Δ=π changes it drastically, replacing the symmetry-breaking bifurcations by pseudobifurcations, with the branch of asymmetric solutions asymptotically approaching its symmetric or antisymmetric counterpart (in the AA and RR system, respectively), rather than splitting off from it. Also considered is a related model, for a binary BEC in a single-core trap with the OL, assuming that the two species (representing different spin states of the same atom) are coupled by linear interconversion. In that case, the symmetry-breaking bifurcations in the AA and RR models switch their character, if the interspecies nonlinear interaction becomes stronger than the intraspecies nonlinearity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063602
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2007


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