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Physics Colloquium: "Monopoles in Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensates"

SpeakerDavid Hall, Amherst College
Date Mar 18, 2015
Time 4:00 pm  
Location 141 Loomis
Cost None
Sponsor Physics Department
Contact Stephanie Johansson
Phone 217-300-4241
Event type Seminar/Symposium
Views 14
Originating Calendar Physics - Colloquium

Dirac's groundbreaking 1931 theory of magnetic monopoles made it possible to consider such elementary particles within the contexts of classical electrodynamics and quantum mechanics. Despite years of searching, no magnetic monopole has been convincingly identified experimentally. Nevertheless, one can perform experiments in systems that permit the existence of close analogues of these elusive particles. One such analogue is the Dirac monopole that we recently created and observed in the synthetic magnetic field generated by a spinor Bose-Einstein condensate. The response of the condensate to the presence of a monopole reveals the characteristic features of the system envisioned by Dirac. In related experiments, we create and detect quantum point defects within the condensate that are analogues of 't Hooft-Polyakov magnetic monopoles, which are expected to arise as a result of symmetry breaking in grand unified field theories.

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