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Items tagged with "spin orbit coupling"

February 12, 2014

An ultracold landscape for atomtronics

Atomtronics is an emerging technology whereby physicists use ensembles of atoms to build analogs to electronic circuit elements. Modern electronics relies on utilizing the charge properties of the electron. Using lasers and magnetic fields, atomic systems can be engineered to have behavior analogous to that of electrons, making them an exciting platform for studying and generating alternatives to charge-based electronics. Read more to learn more about recent atomtronics research.

December 5, 2013

Vortices: What’s happening inside ultracold quantum storms?

Vortices pop-up in the weather, sink drains, and even astrophysics; they also occur in superfluids, such as an ultracold atomic gas. The circulation in these systems obeys certain quantization criteria. When a superfluid is disturbed vortices will form in order to satisfy this circulation constraint. Vortices look like mini-tornados, having an essentially empty core or “eye." Stirring up a superfluid is one way to induce vortices. Introducing spin-orbit coupling can also do this. Another cool aspect: in seeking out the lowest energy configuration, the vortices will arrange into a lattice. Read more to learn more about core-less vortices—a quantum storm without an ‘eye.’