Giant vortex clusters in a two-dimensional quantum fluid

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Science  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6447, pp. 1264-1267
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat5718

Clustering vortices

Many-body systems generally become more disordered as more energy is pumped into them. A curious exception to this rule was predicted in the context of turbulent flow by the physical chemist Lars Onsager. He suggested that the entropy of certain two-dimensional (2D) systems can decrease with increasing energy, corresponding to an effective negative temperature. Using 2D Bose-Einstein condensates of atoms, Gauthier et al. and Johnstone et al. put Onsager's theory to the test. They provided energy to the system by perturbing the condensate, creating vortices and antivortices. With increasing energy, the system became more ordered as clusters containing either only vortices or only antivortices emerged.

Science, this issue p. 1264, p. 1267

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