Bosonic clouds with attractive interaction beyond the local interaction approximation

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We study the properties of a Bose–Einstein condensed cloud of atoms with negative scattering length confined in a harmonic trap. When a realistic non local (finite range) effective interaction is taken into account, we find that, besides the known low density metastable solution, a new branch of Bose condensate appears at higher density. This state is self–bound but its density can be quite low if the number N of atoms is not too big. The transition between the two classes of solutions as a function of N can be either sharp or smooth according to the ratio between the range of the attractive interaction and the length of the trap. A tight trap leads to a smooth transition. In addition to the energy and the shape of the cloud we study also the dynamics of the system. In particular, we study the frequencies of collective oscillation of the Bose condensate as a function of the number of atoms both in the local and in the non local case. Moreover, we consider the dynamics of the cloud when the external trap is switched off.

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