Cooper, Fred; Avinash Khare; John F. Dawson; Efstathios G. Charalampidis and Avadh Saxena

In this work, we study the existence and stability of constant density (flat-top) solutions to the Gross-Pitaevskii equation (GPE) in confining potentials. These are constructed by using the "inverse problem" approach which corresponds to the identification of confining potentials that make flat-top waveforms exact solutions to the GPE. In the one-dimensional case, the exact solution is the sum of stationary kink and antikink solutions, and in the overlapping region, the density is constant. In higher spatial dimensions, the exact solutions are generalizations of this wave function. In the absence of self-interactions, the confining potential is similar to a smoothed-out finite square well with minima also at the edges. When self-interactions are added, terms proportional to +/- gIli*Ili and +/- gM with M representing the mass or number of particles in Bose-Einstein condensates get added to the confining potential and total energy, respectively. In the realm of stability analysis, we find (linearly) stable solutions in the case with repulsive self-interactions which also are stable to self-similar deformations. For attractive interactions, however, the minima at the edges of the potential get deeper and a barrier in the center forms as we increase the norm. This leads to instabilities at a critical value of M. Comparing the stability criteria from Derrick's theorem with Bogoliubov-de Gennes (BdG) analysis stability results, we find that both predict stability for repulsive self-interactions and instability at a critical mass M for attractive interactions. However, the numerical analysis gives a much lower critical mass. This is due to the emergence of symmetry -breaking instabilities that were detected by the BdG analysis and violate the symmetry x -> -x assumed by Derrick's theorem.