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Tunable spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates in deep optical lattices

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arXiv ID: 1607.02783
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Binary mixtures of Bose-Einstein condensates trapped in deep optical lattices and subjected to equal contributions of Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit coupling (SOC), are investigated in the presence of a periodic time modulation of the Zeeman field. SOC tunability is explicitly demonstrated by adopting a mean-field tight-binding model for the BEC mixture and by performing an averaging approach in the strong modulation limit. In this case, the system can be reduced to an unmodulated vector discrete nonlinear Schr\"odinger equation with a rescaled SOC tunning parameter $\alpha$, which depends only on the ratio between amplitude and frequency of the applied Zeeman field. The dependence of the spectrum of the linear system on $\alpha$ has been analytically characterized. In particular, we show that extremal curves (ground and highest excited states) of the linear spectrum are continuous piecewise functions (together with their derivatives) of $\alpha$, which consist of a finite number of decreasing band lobes joined by constant lines. This structure also remains in presence of not too large nonlinearities. Most important, the interactions introduce a number of localized states in the band-gaps that undergo change of properties as they collide with band lobes. The stability of ground states in the presence of the modulating field has been demonstrated by real time evolutions of the original (un-averaged) system. Localization properties of the ground state induced by the SOC tuning, and a parameter design for possible experimental observation have also been discussed.

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