Non-Abelian gauge potentials for ultra-cold atoms with degenerate dark states

J. Ruseckas, G. Juzeliunas, P. Ohberg, M. Fleischhauer

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We show that the adiabatic motion of ultracold, multilevel atoms in spatially varying laser fields can give rise to effective non-Abelian gauge fields if degenerate adiabatic eigenstates of the atom-laser interaction exist. A pair of such degenerate dark states emerges, e.g., if laser fields couple three internal states of an atom to a fourth common one under pairwise two-photon-resonance conditions. For this so-called tripod scheme we derive general conditions for truly non-Abelian gauge potentials and discuss special examples. In particular we show that using orthogonal laser beams with orbital angular momentum an effective magnetic field can be generated that has a monopole component.
Original languageEnglish
Article number010404
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • dark states
  • quantum optics
  • eigenvalues
  • eigenfunctions
  • two-photon processes


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