Light Induced Gauge Fields for Ultracold Neutral Atoms
Ian B. Spielman
Ultracold neutral atoms, with their simple interactions along with well characterized, highly tunable system parameters, are an ideal platform for realizing and then quantitatively studying many-body phenomena. Many-body physics is perhaps most familiar in the setting of condensed matter systems, where the myriad of electrons interacting in the presence of a crystalline lattice give rise to their signature collective effects. Magnetic fields, and gauge fields in general, play an important role in these systems. The integer and fractional quantum Hall effects are iconic examples of physics in electronic systems that rely on magnetic fields. More complex, matrix valued, gauge fields can be used to describe spin-orbit coupling: itself an essential ingredient in many topological insulators, and in spintronic devices. All of these effects rely on the electron's properties at a fundamental level, and would therefore appear to be absent in neutral atom systems. This chapter describes the techniques we have developed to engineer artificial gauge fields for ultracold neutral atoms using Raman transitions.