Novel Condensed Matter Systems with Cold Atoms
At temperatures on the order of a nano Kelvin, strongly correlated systems of bosons and fermions are completely dominated by quantum effects. In this project we will theoretically investigate strongly correlated bosons and fermions. The system we are interested in is very peculiar and can be best made using interacting ultracold atoms. It is charge neutral, hence it will not react to a magnetic field the way an electron would do. We will, however, optically induce an effective gauge potential. With the optically prepared quantum state we can study a number of interesting scenarios. The most striking effects are seen if we prepare a spin system which is defined by an effective two-level system which couples to a matrix gauge potential. Now we have system which is spin-orbit coupled; the spin rotates depending on in which direction the atoms are moving. This is a non-Abelian effect, and truly uncharted territory. The spin-orbit coupled quantum system is for instance believed to give rise to a highly degenerate groundstate. This leads us to consider exotic many-body systems which are strongly correlated.
This project ties together a number of phenomena from a broad range of physical scenarios ranging from condensed matter physics, mathematical physics, and quantum optics. Our goal is to understand novel strongly correlated many-body quantum states emerging from the light-matter interaction and design experimentally viable schemes for testing the frontiers of our understanding of the foundations of quantum physics.
Please send inquiry emails to Prof. Patrik Ohberg at P.Ohberg@hw.ac.uk