Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > First Demonstration of 'Spin-Orbit Coupling' in Ultracold Atomic Gases

In an ultracold gas of nearly 200,000 rubidium-87 atoms (shown as the large humps) the atoms can occupy one of two energy levels (represented as red and blue); lasers then link together these levels as a function of the atoms’ motion. At first atoms in the red and blue energy states occupy the same region (Phase Mixed), then at higher laser strengths, they separate into different regions (Phase Separated).
Credit: Ian Spielman, JQI/NIST
In an ultracold gas of nearly 200,000 rubidium-87 atoms (shown as the large humps) the atoms can occupy one of two energy levels (represented as red and blue); lasers then link together these levels as a function of the atoms’ motion. At first atoms in the red and blue energy states occupy the same region (Phase Mixed), then at higher laser strengths, they separate into different regions (Phase Separated).
Credit: Ian Spielman, JQI/NIST

Abstract:
Physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have for the first time caused a gas of atoms to exhibit an important quantum phenomenon known as spin-orbit coupling. Their technique opens new possibilities for studying and better understanding fundamental physics and has potential applications to quantum computing, next-generation "spintronics" devices and even "atomtronic" devices built from ultracold atoms.

First Demonstration of 'Spin-Orbit Coupling' in Ultracold Atomic Gases

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on March 21st, 2011

The JQI is a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland-College Park.

One of the most important phenomena in quantum physics, spin-orbit coupling describes the interplay that can occur between a particle's internal properties and its external properties. In atoms, it usually describes interactions that only occur within an atom: how an electron's orbit around an atom's core (nucleus) affects the orientation of the electron's internal bar-magnet-like "spin." In semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide, spin-orbit coupling is an interaction between an electron's spin and its linear motion in a material.

In the researchers' demonstration of spin-orbit coupling, two lasers allow an atom's motion to flip it between a pair of energy states. The new work, published in Nature,* demonstrates this effect for the first time in bosons, which make up one of the two major classes of particles. The same technique could be applied to fermions, the other major class of particles, according to the researchers. The special properties of fermions would make them ideal for studying new kinds of interactions between two particles—for example, those leading to novel "p-wave" superconductivity, which may enable a long-sought form of quantum computing known as topological quantum computation.

In an unexpected development, the team also discovered that the lasers modified how the atoms interacted with each other and caused atoms in one energy state to separate in space from atoms in the other energy state. This promises to lead to useful experimental techniques.

"Spin-orbit coupling is often a bad thing," said JQI's Ian Spielman, senior author of the paper. "Researchers make ‘spintronic' devices out of gallium arsenide, and if you've prepared a spin in some desired orientation, the last thing you'd want it to do is to flip to some other spin when it's moving."

"But from the point of view of fundamental physics, spin-orbit coupling is really interesting," he said. "It's what drives these new kinds of materials called ‘topological insulators.'"

One of the hottest topics in physics right now, topological insulators are special materials in which location is everything: the ability of particles to flow depends on where they are located within the material. They may lead to useful devices. While researchers have been making higher and higher quality versions of this special class of material in solids, spin-orbit coupling in trapped ultracold gases of atoms could help realize topological insulators in their purest, most pristine form, as gases are free of impurity atoms and the other complexities of solid materials.

* Y.-J. Lin, K. Jiménez-García and I.B. Spielman. Spin-orbit-coupled Bose-Einstein condensates. Nature. Posted online March 2, 2011.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ben Stein
(301) 975-3097

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

“JQI Physicists Demonstrate Coveted ’Spin-Orbit Coupling’ for the First Time in Ultracold Atomic Gases”

Related News Press

News and information

Organometallics welcomes new editor-in-chief: Paul Chirik, Ph.D. July 22nd, 2014

The Hiden EQP Plasma Diagnostic with on-board MCA July 22nd, 2014

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Forum on Nanotechnology Economy July 22nd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Physics

Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014

Flashes of light on the superconductor: Using light to modulate the properties of a copper-based superconductor July 15th, 2014

Weizmann Institute scientists take another step down the long road toward quantum computers July 14th, 2014

University of Illinois study advances limits for ultrafast nano-devices July 10th, 2014

Spintronics

University of Illinois study advances limits for ultrafast nano-devices July 10th, 2014

Harnessing magnetic vortices for making nanoscale antennas: Scientists explore ways to synchronize spins for more powerful nanoscale electronic devices April 30th, 2014

Could Diamonds Be A Computer’s Best Friend? Landmark experiment reveals the precious gem’s potential in computing March 24th, 2014

Spintronic Thermoelectric Power Generators: A step towards energy efficient electronic devices March 21st, 2014

Quantum Computing

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company D-Wave Systems Closes a $28.4 Million Financing July 14th, 2014

Weizmann Institute scientists take another step down the long road toward quantum computers July 14th, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

From pencil marks to quantum computers: Introducing graphene July 5th, 2014

Discoveries

Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Quantum nanoscience

Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014

Bending the rules: A UCSB postdoctoral scholar in physics discovers a counterintuitive phenomenon: the coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation June 29th, 2014

Singapore Researchers Use FEI Titan S/TEM to Link Plasmonics with Molecular Electronics: As described in the March 28 issue of Science, researchers discover quantum plasmonic tunneling – a phenomenon that may eventually lead to new, ultra-fast electrical circuits June 24th, 2014

New quantum mechanism to trigger the emission of tunable light at terahertz frequencies June 18th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE