Abstract:
We theoretically study an interacting few-body system of Rashba spin-orbit coupled two-component Bose gases confined in a harmonic trapping potential. We solve the interacting Hamiltonian at large Rashba coupling strengths using Exact Diagonalization scheme, and obtain the ground state phase diagram for a range of interatomic interactions and particle numbers. At small particle numbers, we observe that the bosons condense to an array of topological states with n+1/2 quantum angular momentum vortex configurations, where n = 0, 1, 2, 3... At large particle numbers, we observe two distinct regimes: at weaker interaction strengths, we obtain ground states with topological and symmetry properties that are consistent with mean-field theory computations; at stronger interaction strengths, we report the emergence of strongly correlated ground states.

Abstract:
A Bose gas subject to a light-induced Rashba spin-orbit coupling possesses a dispersion minimum on a circle in momentum space; we show that kinematic constraints due to this dispersion cause interactions to renormalize to universal, angle-dependent values that govern the phase structure in the dilute-gas limit. We find that, regardless of microscopic interactions, (a) the ground state involves condensation at two opposite momenta, and is, in finite systems, a fragmented condensate; and (b) there is a nonzero-temperature instability toward the condensation of pairs of bosons. We discuss how our results can be reconciled with the qualitatively different mean-field phase diagram, which is appropriate for dense gases.

Abstract:
We present a theoretical study of the superfluidity and the corresponding collective modes in two-component atomic Fermi gases with s-wave attraction and synthetic Rashba spin-orbit coupling. The general effective action for the collective modes is derived from the functional path integral formalism. By tuning the spin-orbit coupling from weak to strong, the system undergoes a crossover from an ordinary BCS/BEC superfluid to a Bose-Einstein condensate of rashbons. We show that the properties of the superfluid density and the Anderson-Bogoliubov mode manifest this crossover. At large spin-orbit coupling, the superfluid density and the sound velocity become independent of the strength of the s-wave attraction. The two-body interaction among the rashbons is also determined. When a Zeeman field is turned on, the system undergoes quantum phase transitions to some exotic superfluid phases which are topologically nontrivial. For the two-dimensional system, the nonanalyticities of the thermodynamic functions and the sound velocity across the phase transition are related to the bulk gapless fermionic excitation which causes infrared singularities. The superfluid density and the sound velocity behave nonmonotonically: they are suppressed by the Zeeman field in the normal superfluid phase, but get enhanced in the topological superfluid phase. The three-dimensional system is also studied.

Abstract:
The recent realization of synthetic spin-orbit coupling represents an outstanding achievement in the physics of ultracold quantum gases. In this review we explore the properties of a spin-orbit-coupled Bose-Einstein condensate with equal Rashba and Dresselhaus strengths. This system presents a rich phase diagram, which exhibits a tricritical point separating a zero-momentum phase, a spin-polarized plane-wave phase, and a stripe phase. In the stripe phase translational invariance is spontaneously broken, in analogy with supersolids. Spin-orbit coupling also strongly affects the dynamics of the system. In particular, the excitation spectrum exhibits intriguing features, including the suppression of the sound velocity, the emergence of a roton minimum in the plane-wave phase, and the appearance of a double gapless band structure in the stripe phase. Finally, we discuss a combined procedure to make the stripes visible and stable, thus allowing for a direct experimental detection.

Abstract:
We present a systematic theoretical study of the BCS-BEC crossover in two-dimensional Fermi gases with Rashba spin-orbit coupling (SOC). By solving the exact two-body problem in the presence of an attractive short-range interaction we show that the SOC enhances the formation of the bound state: the binding energy $E_{\text B}$ and effective mass $m_{\text B}$ of the bound state grows along with the increase of the SOC. For the many-body problem, even at weak attraction, a dilute Fermi gas can evolve from a BCS superfluid state to a Bose condensation of molecules when the SOC becomes comparable to the Fermi momentum. The ground-state properties and the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition temperature are studied, and analytical results are obtained in various limits. For large SOC, the BKT transition temperature recovers that for a Bose gas with an effective mass $m_{\text B}$. We find that the condensate and superfluid densities have distinct behaviors in the presence of SOC: the condensate density is generally enhanced by the SOC due to the increase of the molecule binding, the superfluid density is suppressed because of the non-trivial molecule effective mass $m_{\text B}$.

Abstract:
We study the Bose-Einstein condensate phase transition of three-dimensional ultracold bosons with isotropic Rashba spin-orbit coupling. Investigating the structure of Ginzburg-Landau free energy as a function of the condensate density, we show, within the Bogoliubov approximation, that the condensate phase transition is first order with a jump in the condensate density. We calculate the transition temperature and the jump in the condensate density at the transition for large spin-orbit coupling, where the transition temperature depends linearly on the density of particles. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of producing the phase transition experimentally.

Abstract:
We use the Bogoliubov-de Gennes formalism to analyze harmonically trapped Fermi gases with Rashba-type spin-orbit coupling in two dimensions. We consider both population-balanced and -imbalanced Fermi gases throughout the BCS-BEC evolution, and study the effects of spin-orbit coupling on the spontaneously induced countercirculating mass currents and the associated intrinsic angular momentum. In particular, we find that even a small spin-orbit coupling destabilizes Fulde-Ferrel-Larkin-Ovchinnikov (FFLO)-type spatially modulated superfluid phases as well as the phase-separated states against the polarized superfluid phase. We also show that the continuum of quasiparticle and quasihole excitation spectrum can be connected by zero, one or two discrete branches of interface modes, depending on the number of interfaces between a topologically trivial phase (e.g. locally unpolarized/low-polarized superfluid or spin-polarized normal) and a topologically nontrivial one (e.g. locally high-polarized superfluid) that may be present in a trapped system.

Abstract:
Fermi gases with generalized Rashba spin orbit coupling inducedby a synthetic gauge field have the potential of realizing many interesting states such as rashbon condensates and topological phases. Here we develop a fluctuation theory of such systems and demonstrate that beyond-Gaussian effects are essential to capture the physics of such systems. We obtain their phase diagram by constructing an approximate non-Gaussian theory. We conclusively establish that spin-orbit coupling can enhance the exponentially small transition temperature ($T_c$) of a weakly attracting superfluid to the order of Fermi temperature, paving a pathway towards high $T_c$ superfluids.

Abstract:
We investigate theoretically BEC-BCS crossover physics in the presence of a Rashba spin-orbit coupling in a system of two-component Fermi gas with and without a Zeeman field that breaks the population balance between the two components. A new bound state (Rashba pair) emerges because of the spin-orbit interaction. We study the properties of Rashba pairs using a standard pair fluctuation theory. At zero temperature, the Rashba pairs condense into a macroscopic mixed spin state. We discuss in detail the experimental signatures for observing the condensation of Rashba pairs by calculating various physical observables which characterize the properties of the system and can be measured in experiment.

Abstract:
In a two dimensional electron gas with Rashba spin-orbit coupling, the external electric field may cause a spin Hall current in the direction perpendicular to the electric field. This effect was called the intrinsic spin Hall effect. In this paper, we investigate the influences of spin accumulation on this intrinsic spin Hall effect. We show that due to the existence of boundaries in a real sample, the spin Hall current generated by the intrinsic spin Hall effect will cause spin accumulation near the edges of the sample, and in the presence of spin accumulation, the spin Hall conductivity will not have a universal value. The influences of spin accumulation on the intrinsic spin Hall effect in narrow strips of two dimensional electron gases with Rashba spin-orbit coupling are investigated in detail.