Magnetically Generated Spin-Orbit Coupling for Ultracold Atoms

Magnetically Generated Spin-Orbit Coupling for Ultracold Atoms

We present a new technique for producing two- and three-dimensional Rashba-type spin-orbit couplings for ultracold atoms without involving light. The method relies on a sequence of pulsed inhomogeneous magnetic fields imprinting suitable phase gradients on the atoms. For sufficiently short pulse durations, the time-averaged Hamiltonian well approximates the Rashba Hamiltonian. Higher order corrections to the energy spectrum are calculated exactly for spin-1/2 and perturbatively for higher spins. The pulse sequence does not modify the form of rotationally symmetric atom-atom interactions. Finally, we present a straightforward implementation of this pulse sequence on an atom chip.

http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.125301

Anderson, B. M., Spielman, I. B. & Juzeliƫnas, G. Magnetically Generated Spin-Orbit Coupling for Ultracold Atoms. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 125301 (2013).