Magnetism, rotons, and beyond: engineering atomic systems with lattice shaking

Speaker: Colin Parker, Georgia Institute of Technology

When: October 14, 2016 (Fri), 12:00PM to 01:00PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 352

This event is part of the Biophysics/Condensed Matter Seminar Series.

Conventional methods of quantum simulation rely on kinectic energy determined by free particle dispersions or simple sinusoidal optical lattices. Solid state systems, by contrast, exhibit a plethora of band structures which differ quantitatively, qualitatively, and even topologically. To what extent does this variety explain the many electronic phenomena observed in these materials? I will show work that addresses this question by subjecting an otherwise simple Bose superfluid to a customized band structure engineered by dynamically phase modulating (shaking) an optical lattice. The engineered dispersion contains two minima which we associate to a pseudospin degree of freedom. Surprisingly, in such a system the Bose superfluid exhibits many new behaviors. The psuedospin develops a ferromagnetic order, which can lead to polarization of the entire sample or to sub-division into polarized domains. The excitations of the system also exhibit the roton-maxon structure associated with strong interactions in superfluid helium. I will also discuss planned efforts to bring the technique to fermionic atoms.