We show that, in the Thomas-Fermi regime, the cores of vortices in rotating dilute Bose-Einstein condensates adjust in radius as the rotation velocity, , grows, thus precluding a phase transition associated with core overlap at high vortex density. In both a harmonic trap and a rotating hard-walled bucket, the core size approaches a limiting fraction of the intervortex spacing. At large rotation speeds, a system confined in a bucket develops, within Thomas-Fermi, a hole along the rotation axis, and eventually makes a transition to a giant vortex state with all the vorticity contained in the hole.
- Received 21 November 2001
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