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Journal Article

Cavity-induced emergent topological spin textures in a Bose-Einstein condensate


Lau,  Hon-Wai
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Ostermann, S., Lau, H.-W., Ritsch, H., & Mivehvar, F. (2019). Cavity-induced emergent topological spin textures in a Bose-Einstein condensate. New Journal of Physics, 21: 013029. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aaf9e3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-22F0-7
The coupled nonlinear dynamics of ultracold quantum matter and electromagnetic field modes in an optical resonator exhibits a wealth of intriguing collective phenomena. Here we study a Lambda-type, three-component Bose-Einstein condensate coupled to four dynamical running-wave modes of a ring cavity, where only two of the modes are externally pumped. However, the unpumped modes play a crucial role in the dynamics of the system due to coherent backscattering of photons. On a mean- field level we identify three fundamentally different steady-state phases with distinct characteristics in the density and spatial spin textures: a combined density and spin-wave, a continuous spin spiral with a homogeneous density, and a spin spiral with a modulated density. The spin-spiral states, which are topological, are intimately related to cavity-induced spin-orbit coupling emerging beyond a critical pump power. The topologically trivial density-wave-spin-wave state has the characteristics of a supersolid with two broken continuous symmetries. The transitions between different phases are either simultaneously topological and first-order, or second-order. The proposed setup allows the simulation of intriguing many-body quantum phenomena by solely tuning the pump amplitudes and frequencies, with the cavity output fields serving as a built-in nondestructive observation tool.