Schedule Oct 11, 2016
Topological transition from a non-Abelian Yang monopole
Ian Spielman, Univ. Maryland, NIST

Because global topological properties are robust against local perturbations, understanding and manipulating the topological properties of physical systems is essential in advancing quantum science and technology. For example, topologically protected quantum control gives robust high-fidelity gate operations and the bulk topology of quantum Hall system leads to the quantization of the Hall conductivity. Topological order is quantified in terms of singularities called topological defects that reside in an extended parameter space. Here we engineered such a singularity argued in non- Abelian gauge theories - a Yang monopole - using atomic Bose-Einstein condensates in a parameter space. We quantified its field by measuring the Chern numbers on enclosing manifolds. While the 1st Chern number vanished, the 2nd Chern number didn.t. By displacing the manifold, we observed a transition from .topological. to .trivial. as the monopole left the manifold. Our work illustrates the synthesis of a noble topological defect in a quantum system.

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