"Exploring supersolidity with spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates" (MCQST Colloqium) (Prof. Leticia Tarruell)

  • Date: Apr 9, 2024
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Prof. Leticia Tarruell
  • ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain
  • Location: Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Hans-Kopferman-Straße 1, 85748 Garching
  • Room: Herbert Walther Lecture Hall
  • Host: MCQST
"Exploring supersolidity with spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates" (MCQST Colloqium) (Prof. Leticia Tarruell)
Supersolidity is a counter-intuitive phase of matter that spontaneously breaks both gauge and translation symmetry, and combines the frictionless flow of a superfluid and the crystalline structure of a solid. Until now supersolids have only been realized in Bose-Einstein condensates, exploiting three different ingredients: dipolar interactions, cavity-mediated interactions, and spin-orbit coupling. The properties of dipolar and cavity supersolids have been explored in detail, showing common features but also important differences concerning their excitation spectra. In contrast, all spin-orbit coupled supersolids realized to date were very fragile, and could only be probed indirectly. This led to contradictory opinions concerning the properties of their modulated density profile, also known as the stripe pattern, and of their collective excitations.

In my talk, I will present recent experiments where we leverage the tunable interaction properties of potassium atoms to realize robust supersolids in a spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensate, and to observe in situ for the first time their modulated density profiles. We demonstrate that, unlike in cavity supersolids, the supersolid stripe spacing is not fixed: it varies with the spin-orbit coupling strength and hosts a stripe compression mode. Moreover, we measure the softening of the stripe compression mode frequency with increasing spin-orbit coupling strength, revealing in this way the supersolid phase transition. Our experiments establish spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates as an attractive alternative platform to investigate supersolidity, and provide an excellent starting point to explore its interplay with quantum fluctuations and external lattice potentials.

You can join us in-person at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics at the above address, or online via the Zoom link below:

Meeting ID: 998 9779 8115
Passcode: mcqst2024

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