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Title: Stabilizing the false vacuum. Mott skyrmions

Topological excitations keep fascinating physicists since many decades. While individual vortices and solitons emerge and have been observed in many areas of physics, their most intriguing higher dimensional topological relatives, skyrmions (smooth, topologically stable textures) and magnetic monopoles emerging almost necessarily in any grand unified theory and responsible for charge quantization remained mostly elusive. Here we propose that loading a three-component nematic superfluid such as 23Na into a deep optical lattice and thereby creating an insulating core, one can create topologically stable skyrmion textures. The skyrmion’s extreme stability and its compact geometry enable one to investigate the skyrmion’s structure, and the interplay of topology and excitations in detail. In particular, the superfluid’s excitation spectrum as well as the quantum numbers are demonstrated to change dramatically due to the skyrmion, and reflect the presence of a trapped monopole, as imposed by the skyrmion’s topology.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2]
  1. Budapest, Univ. of Technology and Economics and MTA-BME Condensed Matter Research Group, Budapest (Hungary); Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Budapest, Univ. of Technology and Economics and MTA-BME Condensed Matter Research Group, Budapest (Hungary)
  3. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-97ER25308; K101244; K105149; CNK80991
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Krell Institute, Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; Hungarian Scientific Research Funds, Budapest (Hungary); Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest (Hungary)
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; Quantum fluids and solids; ultracold gases