Transfer of topological properties of light to matter

Prof. Dr. Patrick Windpassinger
Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler
Prof. Dr. Georg von Freymann

Coupling of light and matter allows for the mutual transfer and transformation of properties between the two systems on a very fundamental level. This very exploratory research project seeks to transfer the topological nature contained in spin and orbital angular momentum (SAM and OAM) states of light to cold and ultra-cold dilute quantum matter. In particular, we intend to study the impact of spin and orbital angular momentum of selected light states on the propagation of light in dense atomic media. We expect that, for instance, the structure of the electric field in orbital vector beams is directly imprinted into the induced electric dipole moments of the atomic gas. The topological states should therefore alter the created dipole-dipole correlations and thus have a significant impact onto the light transportation and scattering properties of the sample. These tools will lay the foundation for the second stage of the project, which is the study of topological magnetic structures in highly magnetically dipolar ultra-cold quantum gases and the generation of topological quantum matter. The prospects include studying the transition of topological magnetic spin systems from quasi-classical to quantum.