CUA - Center for Ultracold Atoms

Research Highlights

MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms, A National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center

Spin-Orbit Coupling in a Fermi Gas

Published 9.1.2012

Lawrence W. Cheuk, Ariel T. Sommer, Zoran Hadzibabic, Tarik Yefsah, Waseem S. Bakr, Martin W. Zwierlein

Elementary particles have a property called "spin" that can be thought of as
rotation around their axes. In work reported in the journal Physical Review
Letters, MIT physicists have imposed a stringent set of traffic rules on
atomic particles in a gas: Those spinning clockwise can move in only one
direction, while those spinning counterclockwise can move only in the other

Physical materials with this distinctive property could be used
in "spintronic" circuit devices that rely on spin rather than electrical
current for transferring information. The correlation between spin and
direction of motion is crucial to creating a so-called topological
superfluid, a key ingredient of some quantum-computing proposals.

Read more about this topic in these articles:

1. MIT News Article: "A one-way street for spinning atoms" 

2. Physics World Article: "Ultracold fermions simulate spin-orbit coupling"

3. APS ViewPoint by Erich Mueller