Measuring the Hall effect for ultracold atoms in a synthetic magnetic field - Lindsay LeBlanc

As ultracold atoms experiments move towards realistic quantum simulations of many-body physics problems, new techniques are being developed to increase the complexity of these systems. While the effects of real electric or magnetic fields are absent due to the electrical neutrality of the atoms commonly used, recent experiments have demonstrated how atom-light coupling can be used to generate synthetic electric and magnetic fields [1]. In the scheme presented here, the spatial dependence of a Raman coupling between levels of the ground state manifold for our 87Rb atoms provides the necessary relationship between internal (spin) and external (momentum) degrees of freedom to generate a synthetic magnetic field and associated Lorentz-like force. We measured the Hall effect in a Bose-Einstein condensate by studying its transport in the presence of the synthetic field. These measurements reveal internal properties of the system, much as the Hall effect is used to study solid-state systems, and demonstrate the utility of this technique as a probe of ultracold ensembles.