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Interaction of a Bose-Einstein condensate with a gravitational wave

Schützhold, R.


Partly motivated by recent proposals for the detection of gravitational waves, we study their interaction with Bose-Einstein condensates. For homogeneous condensates at rest, the gravitational wave does not directly create phonons (to lowest order) but merely affects existing phonons or indirectly creates phonon pairs via quantum squeezing-an effect which has already been considered in the literature. For inhomogeneous condensate flows such as a vortex lattice, however, the impact of the gravitational wave can directly create phonons. This more direct interaction can be more efficient and could perhaps help bring such a detection mechanism for gravitational waves a step closer towards experimental realizability-even though there is still a long way to go. Finally, we argue that super-fluid helium might offer some advantages in this respect.



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