Can Angular Oscillations Probe Superfluidity in Dipolar Supersolids?

Now published in PRL! In a new joint theory-experimental collaboration, we investigate the extent that angular oscillations of a dipolar supersolid can tell us about the superfluidity of the system. Previous investigations of this been confined to linear droplet arrays.

Here, together with Prof. Luis Santos at the University of Hannover, we explore angular oscillations in systems with 2D structure, which in principle have greater sensitivity to superfluidity. Surprisingly, in both experiment and simulation, we find that the frequency of angular oscillations remains nearly unchanged even when the superfluidity of the system is altered dramatically. Indicating that angular oscillation measurements do not always provide a robust experimental probe of superfluidity with typical experimental protocols.

The paper can be accessed here: PRL 129, 040403 and the preprint here: arXiv:2111.07768

Quantum vortices in a dipolar gas!

We report on the observation of vortices in a dysprosium quantum gas! Together with Dr. Giacomo Lamporesi from the University of Trento, we investigate one of the most fundamental phenomenon of superfluidity: quantized vorticity. We exploit the anisotropic nature of the dipole-dipole interaction to induce angular symmetry breaking in an otherwise cylindrically symmetric pancake-shaped trap. Tilting the magnetic field towards the radial plane deforms the cloud into an ellipsoid through magnetostriction, which is then set into rotation. At stirring frequencies approaching the radial trap frequency, we observe the generation of dynamically unstable surface excitations, which cause angular momentum to be pumped into the system through vortices. In the image above, if we keep the magnetic field tilted whilst rotating the vortices arrange into a stripe configuration along the field–in close corroboration with simulations–realizing a long sought-after prediction for dipolar vortices. Tilting the field back up the vortices lose this alignment, and become isotropic in shape.

Check out the pre-print here: arXiv

Supersolids go round!

In recent years a new state of matter has appeared on the scene: the supersolid. This has both the crystal structure of a solid and the properties of a superfluid, a quantum fluid that can flow without friction. We show that an established method for forming supersolids in a one-dimensional crystal–by tuning how the particles interact with one another–fails to reach supersolidity in two dimensions. However, by developing a new theoretical technique we demonstrate that cooling a gas of magnetic atoms directly into the supersolid regime is a viable method for creating two-dimensional supersolids in round, pancake-shaped traps. This leads us to the experimental observation of the first supersolid in a round trap, and opens the door to future theoretical studies of the crystal growth.

You can find out more about this in our paper.

Inter-species interactions in an Er-Dy condensate

We present a first study of the influence of the dipole-dipole interaction on the total inter-species interaction in our erbium-dysprosium mixture. In collaboration with M. Modugno from the University of the Basque Country, we develop a model for our heteronuclear mixture, which describes qualitatively well our system and allows us to predict a lower and an upper bound for the inter-species scattering length. With this work, we make the first steps toward the study of the experimentally unexplored miscibility-immiscibility phase diagram and the realization of quantum droplets and supersolid states in heteronuclear dipolar mixtures.

This work is now published as the editors’ suggestion in Phys. Rev. A [paper] [arXiv]