We investigate a Bose-Einstein condensate of F = 187Rb atoms in a 2D spin-dependent optical lattice generated by intersecting laser beams with a superposition of polarizations. For 87Rb the effective interaction of an atom with the electromagnetic field contains scalar and vector (called a fictitious magnetic field, B fic) potentials. The Rb atoms behave as a quantum rotor (QR) with angular momentum given by the sum of the atomic rotational motion angular momentum and the hyperfine spin. The ground state of the QR is affected upon applying an external magnetic field, B ext, perpendicular to the plane of QR motion and a sudden change of its topology occurs as the ratio B ext/B fic exceeds a critical value. It is shown that the change of topology of the QR ground state is a result of combined action of Zeeman and Einstein-de Haas effects. The first transfers atoms to the largest hyperfine component to polarize the sample along the field as the external magnetic field is increased. The second sweeps spin to rotational angular momentum, modifying the kinetic energy of the atoms.
- quantum rotor
- spin-dependent optical lattice
- spinor BEC
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)