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Dynamics of interacting fermions under spin–orbit coupling in an optical lattice clock

TitleDynamics of interacting fermions under spin–orbit coupling in an optical lattice clock
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBromley, SL, Kolkowitz, S, Bothwell, T, Kedar, D, Safavi-Naini, A, Wall, ML, Salomon, C, Rey, AM, Ye, J
JournalNature Physics
Date Published2018-02
Keywordsoptical lattice clock

Quantum statistics and symmetrization dictate that identical fermions do not interact via s-wave collisions. However, in the presence of spin–orbit coupling (SOC), fermions prepared in identical internal states with distinct momenta become distinguishable. The resulting strongly interacting system can exhibit exotic topological and pairing behaviours, many of which are yet to be observed in condensed matter systems. Ultracold atomic gases offer a promising pathway for simulating these rich phenomena, but until recently have been hindered by heating and losses. Here we enter a new regime of many-body interacting SOC in a fermionic optical lattice clock (OLC), where the long-lived electronic clock states mitigate unwanted dissipation. Using clock spectroscopy, we observe the precession of the collective magnetization and the emergence of spin-locking effects arising from an interplay between p-wave and SOC-induced exchange interactions. The many-body dynamics are well captured by a collective XXZ spin model, which describes a broad class of condensed matter systems ranging from superconductors to quantum magnets. Furthermore, our work will aid in the design of next-generation OLCs by offering a route for avoiding the observed large density shifts caused by SOC-induced exchange interactions.


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