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Accurate computations of Rashba spin-orbit coupling in interacting systems: from the Fermi gas to real materials

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      Abstract

      We describe the treatment of Rashba spin-orbit coupling (SOC) in interacting many-fermion systems within the auxiliary-field quantum Monte Carlo framework, and present a set of illustrative results. These include numerically exact calculations on the ground-state properties of the spin-balanced, attractive two-dimensional Fermi gas, as well as a study of a tight-binding Hamiltonian with repulsive interaction. These systems are formally connected via the Hubbard Hamiltonian with SOC, but cover different physics ranging from superfluidity and triplet pairing to SOC in real materials in the presence of strong interactions in localized orbitals. We carry out detailed benchmark studies of the method in the latter case when an approximation is needed to control the sign problem for repulsive Coulomb interactions. The methods presented here provide an approach for predictive computations in materials to study the interplay of SOC and strong correlation.

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      Many-Body Physics with Ultracold Gases

      This article reviews recent experimental and theoretical progress on many-body phenomena in dilute, ultracold gases. Its focus are effects beyond standard weak-coupling descriptions, like the Mott-Hubbard-transition in optical lattices, strongly interacting gases in one and two dimensions or lowest Landau level physics in quasi two-dimensional gases in fast rotation. Strong correlations in fermionic gases are discussed in optical lattices or near Feshbach resonances in the BCS-BEC crossover.
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        The emergence of spin electronics in data storage.

        Electrons have a charge and a spin, but until recently these were considered separately. In classical electronics, charges are moved by electric fields to transmit information and are stored in a capacitor to save it. In magnetic recording, magnetic fields have been used to read or write the information stored on the magnetization, which 'measures' the local orientation of spins in ferromagnets. The picture started to change in 1988, when the discovery of giant magnetoresistance opened the way to efficient control of charge transport through magnetization. The recent expansion of hard-disk recording owes much to this development. We are starting to see a new paradigm where magnetization dynamics and charge currents act on each other in nanostructured artificial materials. Ultimately, 'spin currents' could even replace charge currents for the transfer and treatment of information, allowing faster, low-energy operations: spin electronics is on its way.
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          A spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensate

          Spin-orbit (SO) coupling -- the interaction between a quantum particle's spin and its momentum -- is ubiquitous in nature, from atoms to solids. In condensed matter systems, SO coupling is crucial for the spin-Hall effect and topological insulators, which are of extensive interest; it contributes to the electronic properties of materials such as GaAs, and is important for spintronic devices. Ultracold atoms, quantum many-body systems under precise experimental control, would seem to be an ideal platform to study these fascinating SO coupled systems. While an atom's intrinsic SO coupling affects its electronic structure, it does not lead to coupling between the spin and the center-of-mass motion of the atom. Here, we engineer SO coupling (with equal Rashba and Dresselhaus strengths) in a neutral atomic Bose-Einstein condensate by dressing two atomic spin states with a pair of lasers. Not only is this the first SO coupling realized in ultracold atomic gases, it is also the first ever for bosons. Furthermore, in the presence of the laser coupling, the interactions between the two dressed atomic spin states are modified, driving a quantum phase transition from a spatially spin-mixed state (lasers off) to a phase separated state (above a critical laser intensity). The location of this transition is in quantitative agreement with our theory. This SO coupling -- equally applicable for bosons and fermions -- sets the stage to realize topological insulators in fermionic neutral atom systems.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            02 October 2017
            1710.00887

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            12 pages, 8 figures
            cond-mat.str-el cond-mat.quant-gas

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