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Title: Experimental investigation of non-Abelian artificial gauge fields: from SU(2) to SU(3)
Authors: Madasu, Chetan Sriram
Keywords: Science::Physics
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Madasu, C. S. (2023). Experimental investigation of non-Abelian artificial gauge fields: from SU(2) to SU(3). Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Gauge fields play a prominent role in modern physics from electromagnetic theory to standard model of particle physics. These are cutting edge mathematical tools to understand fundamental forces and interaction between sub-atomic particles. Though gauge fields are considered natural tools of study in high-energy physics, they can be extended to low-energy condensed matter physics to study the behaviour of quantum particles in special environments like electrons in a magnetic field. Apart from naturally occurring gauge fields, controllable artificial gauge fields can be used to tailor physical effects on quantum systems like neutral atoms, qubits, photons, anions etc. This thesis reports the study of laser-induced artificial non-Abelian gauge fields interacting with an ultracold atomic wave packet in free space. In sharp contrast to the Abelian gauge fields, spatially uniform non-Abelian gauge fields can induce non-inertial motion of a particle. This motion is locked to the pseudo-spin state of the system and induces spin-orbit coupling. These non-Abelian gauge fields are experimentally realized by adiabatic evolution of the state of the atoms in the degenerate subspace of the coupling Hamiltonians. We produce SU(2) and SU(3) non-Abelian gauge fields using doubly degenerate dark state subspace of tripod and triply degenerate dark state subspace of double-tripod atom-light coupling schemes, respectively. Using the SU(2) gauge field in one dimension, we demonstrate the function of an atomtronic Datta-Das transistor (DDT) where spin polarized atoms enter the gate region and exit with their spin orientation controlled by the gate parameter analogous to the gate voltage in conventional field effect transistor. We demonstrate the geometric nature of the spin rotation in our DDT by showing insensitivity of the result to the input velocity and velocity dispersion of the atomic cloud. We have also implemented a Ramsey interferometric sequence to extract the phase of the output state of the DDT showing that the spin rotation by the DDT is coherent. In two dimensions, the dynamics of the wave packet in SU(2) gauge field show Zitterbewegung oscillations revealing spin Hall effect characteristics of the system. Whereas the dynamics of the wave packet in SU(3) gauge field show oscillations with multiple frequencies emulating color-orbit coupling. These frequencies correspond to the energy separation between the eigenstates of the Hamiltonian. Using the SU(3) Hamiltonian, we show two paths of reaching the same final state from the initial state demonstrating the existence of additional ladder operators in the SU(3) system in addition to the well-known raising and lowering operators of angular momentum represented by SU(2) symmetry. With this study, we realize a system that can be used to study the rich physics of SU(3) Hamiltonians on table top experiments.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/165915
Schools: School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SPMS Theses

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