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Designing Topological Bands for Ultracold Atomic Gases

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 5:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Nigel Cooper

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Cambridge
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

One of the most important techniques in the ultracold atom toolbox is the optical lattice: a periodic scalar potential formed from standing waves of light.  Optical lattices are central to the use of atomic gases to explore of strong-correlation phenomena related to condensed matter systems, for example by realizing well-known tight-binding models.  I shall describe how optical coupling of the internal states of an atom can be used to create novel forms of optical lattice, which readily leads to topological bands.  I shall describe a design methodology for these new forms of optical lattice, and show how to engineer topological bands with narrow energy dispersion.  The resulting lattices will greatly facilitate the achievement of strongly correlated topological phases in ultracold atomic gases.