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Picture of the Day

Making atom waves

The orange and yellow stripes in this composite image depict matter waves from different experimental runs in the Hulet Lab at Rice University. The stripes show how matter waves change due to rapid magnetic shifts that bring about modulational instability. The left line shows a matter wave before magnetic switching. Subsequent images (to left) show how both repulsive to attractive fluctuations become amplified in the wave. Clear signs of deviations from the initial solid shape can be seen in the third image, and the peaks and valleys in the far left image show how the wave morphs into a “soliton train,” a set of standing waves.

Visit Website | Image credit: Image courtesy of J. Nguyen/Rice University