For a dissipative variant of the two-dimensional Gross--Pitaevskii equation with a parabolic trap under rotation, we study a symmetry breaking process that leads to the formation of vortices. The first symmetry breaking leads to the formation of many small vortices distributed uniformly near the Thomas--Fermi radius. The instability occurs as a result of a linear instability of a vortex-free steady state as the rotation is increased above a critical threshold. We focus on the second subsequent symmetry breaking, which occurs in the weakly nonlinear regime. At slightly above threshold, we derive a one-dimensional amplitude equation that describes the slow evolution of the envelope of the initial instability. We show that the mechanism responsible for initiating vortex formation is a modulational instability of the amplitude equation. We also illustrate the role of dissipation in the symmetry breaking process. All analyses are confirmed by detailed numerical computations.
- nonlinear Schrödinger equation
- Bose–Einstein condensates
- vortex nucleation
- dissipative Gross– Pitaevskii equation