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Application of Optical Flux Lattices to Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensates

Dr Tapio Simula

School of Physics, Monash University, Melbourne

3:30 pm Friday, 2 March 2012, EN103 Lecture Theatre (EN Building), Hawthorn

The peculiar analogy between hydrodynamics and electromagnetism has been known since the works of Kirchoff and Helmholtz. In superfluid hydrodynamics, quantization of circulation furnishes a topological invariant, or a vortex-charge, in the system. Recent realizations of synthetic electromagnetic gauge fields for neutral atom systems have sparked a flurry of work ranging from engineering spin-orbit couplings with connections to topological insulators to the prospects of observing fractional quantum-Hall effects in cold atomic gases.
An optical flux lattice scheme based on singular quantum-atom optics has recently been introduced. Due to their high flux density, such synthetic flux lattices are anticipated to greatly facilitate the achievement of the quantum Hall regime for cold atom gases. In this talk, I will show that the application of rotating optical flux lattices to spinor Bose-Einstein condensates will give rise to new kinds of topological quantum states including an  anisotropic Kitaev lattice of half-quantum spin-vortices. These new states emerge at fractional ratios of vortex density to optical flux density and are related to the commensurability between atomic and optical vortex lattices in these systems. I will close this talk with a discussion, speculation, and proposals for future work. Questions and comments are welcomed throughout the talk.

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