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(a) The system under consideration consists of two Rydberg atoms

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posted on 2013-06-24, 00:00 authored by Martin Kiffner, Wenhui Li, Dieter Jaksch

Figure 1. (a) The system under consideration consists of two Rydberg atoms. \boldsymbol{R} is the relative position of atom 2 with respect to atom 1. An external electric field \boldsymbol{E} is applied in the z-direction. ρ is the distance of atom 2 from the z-axis. (b) An internal level structure of each Rydberg atom. The Stark shifts δ ≡ Wp − 1/2Wp − 3/2 and Δ ≡ Wp + 1/2Wp + 3/2 are negative. We assume \delta
ot=\Delta. The dipole transitions indicated by solid, blue dotted and red dashed lines couple to π, σ and σ+ polarized fields, respectively.


We show that the dipole–dipole interaction between two Rydberg atoms can lead to substantial Abelian and non-Abelian gauge fields acting on the relative motion of the two atoms. We demonstrate how the gauge fields can be evaluated by numerical techniques. In the case of adiabatic motion in a single internal state, we show that the gauge fields give rise to a magnetic field that results in a Zeeman splitting of the rotational states. In particular, the ground state of a molecular potential well is given by the first excited rotational state. We find that our system realizes a synthetic spin–orbit coupling where the relative atomic motion couples to two internal two-atom states. The associated gauge fields are non-Abelian.


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