Soliton Instabilities and Vortex Street Formation in a Polariton Quantum Fluid
Exciton polaritons have been shown to be an optimal system in order to investigate the properties of bosonic quantum fluids. We report here on the observation of dark solitons in the wake of engineered circular obstacles and their decay into streets of quantized vortices. Our experiments provide a time-resolved access to the polariton phase and density, which allows for a quantitative study of instabilities of freely evolving polaritons. The decay of solitons is quantified and identified as an effect of disorder-induced transverse perturbations in the dissipative polariton gas.