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Mystery object caused by spontaneous symmetry breaking revealed

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Hiromitsu Takeuchi, a lecturer at the Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, and a researcher at the Nambu Yoichiro Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (NITEP), has theoretically identified the nature of a mysterious topological defect produced by the recently discovered non-equilibrium time evolution of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB).

Since the SSB realized in this system is like the SSB that has been known to occur in isotropic superconductors and superfluid 4He, it was expected to produce topological defects with vortex-like properties in the fluid, called quantum vortices. However, the topological defect observed in this experiment has a structure that bore little resemblance to the previously mentioned SSB, and its physical properties have been shrouded in mystery.

In this research, the idea of applying the Joukowski transform, which is used to calculate the lift of airplane wings, to quantum vortices was introduced for the first time, and the analysis revealed that the most stable state of this mysterious topological defect is a new topological defect called a quantum elliptic vortex.


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