We experimentally and numerically demonstrate deterministic creation and manipulation of a pair of oppositely charged singly quantized vortices in a highly oblate Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Two identical blue-detuned, focused Gaussian laser beams that pierce the BEC serve as repulsive obstacles for the superfluid atomic gas; by controlling the positions of the beams within the plane of the BEC, superfluid flow is deterministically established around each beam such that two vortices of opposite circulation are generated by the motion of the beams, with each vortex pinned to the in situ position of a laser beam. We study the vortex creation process, and show that the vortices can be moved about within the BEC by translating the positions of the laser beams. This technique can serve as a building block in future experimental techniques to create, on-demand, deterministic arrangements of few or many vortices within a BEC for precise studies of vortex dynamics and vortex interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics