Journal article

Dynamics of dark-soliton formation in a polariton quantum fluid

Polariton fluids have revealed huge potentialities in order to investigate the properties of bosonic fluids at the quantum scale. Among those properties, the opportunity to create dark as well as bright solitons has been demonstrated recently. In the present experiments, we image the formation dynamics of oblique dark solitons. They nucleate in the wake of an engineered attractive potential that perturbs the polariton quantum fluid. Thanks to time and phase measurements, we assess quantitatively the formation process. The formation velocity is observed to increase with increasing distance between the flow injection point and the obstacle which modulates the density distribution of the polariton fluid. We propose an explanation in terms of the increased resistance to the flow and of the conditions for the convective instability of dark solitons. By using an iterative solution of the generalized Gross-Pitaevskii equation, we are able to reproduce qualitatively our experimental results.

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