Recently, we created the first atomic BEC in an essentially uniform potential of an optical box . Compared to the traditional ultracold-atom setting of a harmonic trap, this has opened new possibilities for closer connections with other many-body systems and the theories that rely on the translational symmetry of the system. I will discuss our recent experiments, including studies of the (Kibble-Zurek) dynamics of spontaneous symmetry breaking , the emergence of turbulence in a periodically driven gas , and the collapse of a BEC with attractive interactions .
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