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Title:Crystalline and glassy states of ultracold atomic systems
Author(s):Gopalakrishnan, Sarang
Director of Research:Goldbart, Paul M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fradkin, Eduardo H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Goldbart, Paul M.; DeMarco, Brian L.; Stack, John D.
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Bose-Einstein condensates
optical cavities
spin glasses
associative memories
spin-orbit coupling
Brazovskii effect
liquid crystals
ultracold atomic systems
phase transitions
quantum criticality
Abstract:Spatially modulated ordered states, such as crystals, liquid crystals, and antiferromagnets, are ubiquitous in nature but relatively difficult to realize in ultracold atomic systems. In the present work, we present a scheme for generating controllable cavity-mediated interactions between atoms, and show that these interactions give rise to a crystallization transition in the case of a transversely pumped optical cavity. We focus on the case of multimode cavities, in which the interactions are relatively local and the range of possible ordered configurations (and consequently of low-energy fluctuations) is large; as we show, the crystallization transition for a Bose-Einstein condensate in a multimode cavity is driven first-order by fluctuations, through the Brazovskii effect. The ordered state to which this crystallization transition gives rise is a "supersolid," possessing both superfluid and solid order. We address the crystallization transition and the properties of the ordered state, discuss the experimental feasibility of observing these, and finally show how ordering in layered systems of atoms is geometrically frustrated. We then introduce a more straightforward realization of frustrated cavity-mediated interactions, viz. systems of randomly-positioned spins in multimode cavities. We show by means of a mapping to a variant of the Hopfield associative-memory model that such systems exhibit a spin-glass phase. Finally, we consider a different ultracold-atomic setting---that of spin-orbit-coupled Bose gases---in which the Brazovskii effect has a profound influence on the low-temperature phases, leading to a universal preference for stripe-like ordering at zero temperature and bosonic pair condensation at nonzero temperatures.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Sarang Gopalakrishnan
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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