Synthetic gauge fields for ultracold atoms

Thursday, 30 March 2017 - 3:30pm
Qi Zhou, Purdue University
Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Physics Conference Room LD 154B

Though charge-neutral atoms do not naturally see gauge fields, atomic physicists have created highly controllable synthetic gauge fields for ultracold atoms by manipulating laser-atom interactions. In this talk, I will first survey the current experimental schemes of producing synthetic gauge fields, including the Raman scheme and shaken lattices. I will then discuss how to use synthetic gauge fields to explore a variety of unconventional quantum phenomena, which are difficult to access in other systems. In the continuum, synthetic gauge fields may turn the single-particle dispersion into a quartic one such that a condensate vanishes even at zero temperature in two dimensions. This offers physicists an ideal simulator of the quantum Lifshitz model for realizing a two-dimensional algebraic quantum liquid, in which the deconfinement transition of vortices can be directly visualized.  In lattices, synthetic gauge fields give rise to a variety of topological band structures. In particular, band gaps may close due to the requirement of nonsymmorphic symmetries. This provides physicists a unique platform to study the interplay among symmetry, topology and interaction. 


Download Flyer