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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 3070

  Thursday, November 7th, 2013

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Ultracold atoms in synthetic gauge fields: Novel phases and dynamics
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Arun Paramekanti, University of Toronto
Abstract: Experimental developments in the field of ultracold atomic gases
have enabled the creation of artificial Lorentz forces and spin-orbit coupling. The combination of such "synthetic gauge fields" and strong correlations in an optical lattice is shown
to lead to novel phases including Mott insulators which support loop current orders and magnetic skyrmion crystals. These bosonic chiral Mott insulators are analogous to vector chiral phases of frustrated magnets. We show that studying quantum quench
dynamics yields a particularly transparent route to imaging such current orders, enabling the detection of bulk equilibrium currents as well as topological chiral edge currents. Similar
ideas are also shown to be applicable to orbital states of such ultracold atoms, leading to chiral orbital Bose liquid states. Such complex orbital order can be uncovered using quenches
which lead to orbital dynamics, analogous to NMR pulse experiments that probe spin dynamics.
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