A solenoidal synthetic field and the non-Abelian Aharonov-Bohm effects in neutral atoms
Hutchinson, David A. W.
Kwek, Leong Chuan
Date of Issue2014
Institute of Advanced Studies
Cold neutral atoms provide a versatile and controllable platform for emulating various quantum systems. Despite efforts to develop artificial gauge fields in these systems, realizing a unique ideal-solenoid-shaped magnetic field within the quantum domain in any real-world physical system remains elusive. Here we propose a scheme to generate a “hairline” solenoid with an extremely small size around 1 micrometer which is smaller than the typical coherence length in cold atoms. Correspondingly, interference effects will play a role in transport. Despite the small size, the magnetic flux imposed on the atoms is very large thanks to the very strong field generated inside the solenoid. By arranging different sets of Laguerre-Gauss (LG) lasers, the generation of Abelian and non-Abelian SU(2) lattice gauge fields is proposed for neutral atoms in ring- and square-shaped optical lattices. As an application, interference patterns of the magnetic type-I Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect are obtained by evolving atoms along a circle over several tens of lattice cells. During the evolution, the quantum coherence is maintained and the atoms are exposed to a large magnetic flux. The scheme requires only standard optical access, and is robust to weak particle interactions.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder in order to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/