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Abstract : In this paper we improve traditional steepest descent methods for the direct minimization of the Gross-Pitaevskii (GP) energy with rotation at two levels. We first define a new inner product to equip the Sobolev space H1 and derive the corresponding gradient. Secondly, for the treatment of the mass conservation constraint, we use a new projection method that avoids more complicated approaches based on modified energy functionals or traditional normalization methods. The descent method with these two new ingredients is studied theoretically in a Hilbert space setting and we give a proof of the global existence and convergence in the asymptotic limit to a minimizer of the GP energy. The new method is implemented in both finite difference and finite element two-dimensional settings and used to compute various complex configurations with vortices of rotating Bose-Einstein condensates. The new Sobolev gradient method shows better numerical performances compared to classical L2or H1 gradient methods, especially when high rotation rates are considered.
Key words: Sobolev gradient; Descent method; Finite difference method; Finite element method; Bose-Einstein condensate; Vortex