Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Ultrafast Rotation of Ultracold Gases

Erich Mueller
Cornell University

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
10:30 AM @ Stirling 501

Abstract:

Great excitement has been generated by the intricate quantum many-body states which are now being probed in ultracold gas experiments. As an illustration of this trend, I will discuss the behavior of a rotating gas of bosonic atoms. Experiments in this area have already observed dramatic phenomena, including the apparent dynamical "melting" of vortex lattices into sheets. Theory predicts that future experiments, at higher rotation speeds, will see a quantum phase transition where the vortex lattice melts into a "quantum Hall" liquid. When the gas has internal degrees of freedom, these phenomena should become even richer. For example, sodium vapor is expected to have a nematic order parameter (much like a liquid crystal), which is strongly influenced by the rotation. I show that rotating such a gas leads to intricate textures including lattices of pi-disclinations with ferromagnetic cores.