Stimulated Symmetry

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Science  28 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5846, pp. 1834-1835
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5846.1834d

Whereas the underlying parameters of condensed matter systems may be fixed, thereby limiting the phase space in which to vary the material properties, the ability to tune and manipulate atoms or molecules trapped in an optical lattice opens up that phase space. With success demonstrated already in systems with isotropic symmetry, as in the case of the superfluid-to-Mott-insulator transition of bosons on a square lattice, interest is now in describing systems with an anisotropic symmetry in the order parameter. Hemmerich and Morais Smith describe a scenario for imprinting a dx2-y2 wave symmetry onto an array of polarizable bosons confined to a two-dimensional (2D) optical lattice. They show theoretically that exciting the atoms by stimulated Raman scattering can result in the formation of a checkerboard-like pattern of staggered flux states on adjacent plaquettes of the 2D lattice, resulting in a d-wave momentum distribution. The proposed scenario offers the prospect of engineering optical lattices for the modeling of complex interacting phenomena from the likes of high-temperature superconductivity to magnetic frustration. — ISO

Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 113002 (2007).

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