Theoretical studies of dilute Bose-Einstein condensates in a double-well potential
In this Thesis we apply the Gross-Pitaevskii equation (GPE) to describe properties of a dilute, near zero temperature Bose gas for various confining geometries. We start by reviewing some basic information about the density, the chemical potential and elementary excitations of a dilute atomic condensate confined in a single harmonic trap for a Bose condensate with repulsive and attractive interactions and we also discuss the stability in the case of attractive interactions. We extend our study to a one and three dimensional double-well trap. We investigate the eigenenergy levels and show that the nonlinearity leads to triangular structures which appear either in the ground or excited states for the case of a Bose condensate with attractive or repulsive interactions respectively. We apply the eigenenergy level picture to analyse Josephson effects induced when the barrier IS moved at a constant velocity across the trapping potential or by the application of a time-dependent potential gradient. The GPE simulations are compared to the predictions of a nonlinear two state model. Above a critical velocity there is a transition to a superposition of ground and excited states which leads to sudden changes in the population difference. The direction of Josephson flow depends critically on the initial state of the system and we discuss the feasibility of experimental control of the atomic flow using phase-imprinting. The stability of a low temperature Bose-Einstein condensate with attract interactions in one and three dimensional double-well potentiate is discussed. The condensate is shown to collapse at a critical potential gradient which corresponds to a critical number of atoms in one of the two wells. Finally we investigate the stability and tunnelling effects in a multi-well system.