Thursday, June 13, 2013

1306.2829 (Zhi-Fang Xu et al.)

Atomic spin-orbit coupling synthesized with magnetic-field-gradient

Zhi-Fang Xu, Li You, Masahito Ueda
We discuss a general scheme for creating atomic spin-orbit coupling (SOC) such as the Rashba or Dresselhaus types using magnetic-field-gradient pulses. In contrast to conventional schemes based on adiabatic center-of-mass motion with atomic internal states restricted to a dressed-state subspace, our scheme works for the complete subspace of a hyperfine-spin manifold by utilizing the coupling between the atomic magnetic moment and external magnetic fields. A spatially dependent pulsed magnetic field acts as an internal-state-dependent impulse, thereby coupling the atomic internal spin with its orbital center-of-mass motion, as in the Einstein-de Haas effect. This effective coupling can be dynamically manipulated to synthesize SOC of any type (Rashba, Dresselhaus, or any linear combination thereof). Our scheme can be realized with most experimental setups of ultracold atoms and is especially suited for atoms with zero nuclear spins.
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