Spin-orbit coupling in quantum gases

Victor Galitski, Ian B. Spielman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

558 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spin-orbit coupling links a particle's velocity to its quantum-mechanical spin, and is essential in numerous condensed matter phenomena, including topological insulators and Majorana fermions. In solid-state materials, spin-orbit coupling originates from the movement of electrons in a crystal's intrinsic electric field, which is uniquely prescribed in any given material. In contrast, for ultracold atomic systems, the engineered 'material parameters' are tunable: a variety of synthetic spin-orbit couplings can be engineered on demand using laser fields. Here we outline the current experimental and theoretical status of spin-orbit coupling in ultracold atomic systems, discussing unique features that enable physics impossible in any other known setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume494
Issue number7435
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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