Josephson oscillation and induced collapse in an attractive Bose-Einstein condensate
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Using the axially symmetric time-dependent Gross-Pitaevskii equation we study the Josephson oscillation of an attractive Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in a one-dimensional periodic optical-lattice potential. We find that the Josephson frequency is virtually independent of the number of atoms in the BEC and of the interatomic interaction (attractive or repulsive). We study the dependence of the Josephson frequency on the laser wave length and the strength of the optical-lattice potential. For a fixed laser wave length (795 nm), the Josephson frequency decreases with increasing strength as found in the experiment of Cataliotti [Science 293, 843 (2001)]. For a fixed strength, the Josephson frequency remains essentially unchanged for a reasonable variation of laser wave length around 800 nm. However, the Josephson oscillation is disrupted with the increase of laser wave length beyond 2000 nm leading to a collapse of a sufficiently attractive BEC. These features of a Josephson oscillation can be tested experimentally with present setups. © 2005 The American Physical Society.