Optical Signatures of Antiferromagnetic Ordering of Fermionic Atoms in an Optical Lattice

Francisco Cordobes Aguilar, Andrew Ho, Janne Ruostekoski

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We show how off-resonant light scattering can provide quantitative information on antiferromagnetic ordering of a two-species fermionic atomic gas in a tightly-confined two-dimensional optical lattice. We analyze the emerging magnetic ordering of atoms in the mean-field and in random phase approximations and show how the many-body static and dynamic correlations, evaluated in the standard Feynman-Dyson perturbation series, can be detected in the scattered light signal. The staggered magnetization reveals itself in the magnetic Bragg peaks of the individual spin components. These magnetic peaks, however, can be considerably suppressed in the absence of a true long-range antiferromagnetic order. The light scattered outside the diffraction orders can be collected by a lens with highly improved signal-to-shot-noise ratio when the diffraction maxima are blocked. The collective and single-particle excitations are identified in the spectrum of the scattered light. We find that the spin-conserving and spin-exchanging atomic transitions convey information on density, longitudinal spin, and transverse spin correlations. The different correlations and scattering processes exhibit characteristic angular distribution profiles for the scattered light, and e.g., the diagnostic signal of transverse spin correlations could be separated from the optical response by the scattering direction, frequency, or polarization. We also analyze the detection accuracy by estimating the number of required measurements, constrained by the heating rate that is determined by inelastic light-scattering events. The imaging technique could be extended to the two-species fermionic states in other regions of the phase diagram where the ground-state properties are still not fully understood.
Original languageEnglish
Article number031036
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2014

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