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Physics  2015 

Quantum phases of Bose-Einstein condensates with synthetic spin - orbital-angular-momentum coupling

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.91.053630

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Abstract:

The experimental realization of emergent spin-orbit coupling through laser-induced Raman transitions in ultracold atoms paves the way for exploring novel superfluid physics and simulating exotic many-body phenomena. A recent proposal with the use of Laguerre-Gaussian lasers enables another fundamental type of coupling between spin and orbital angular momentum (SOAM) in ultracold atoms. We hereby study quantum phases of a realistic Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) with this synthetic SOAM coupling in a disk-shaped geometry, respecting radial inhomogeneity of the Raman coupling. We find that the experimental system naturally resides in a strongly interacting regime in which the phase diagram significantly deviates from the single-particle picture. The interplay between SOAM coupling and interaction leads to rich structures in spin-resolved position and momentum distributions, including a stripe phase and various types of immiscible states. Our results would provide a guide for an experimental investigation of SOAM-coupled BECs.

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