A New Theoretical Model to Capture Spin Dynamics in Rydberg Molecules

November 30, 2019
A schematic figure of the quantum Rydberg central spin model. Credit: Ashida et al.

Rydberg molecules are giant molecules made up of tens or hundreds of atoms bound to a Rydberg atom. These molecules have a permanent dipole (i.e., a pair of oppositely charged or magnetized poles), as one of their atoms is in a highly excited state.

Physicists have been studying Rydberg molecules both theoretically and experimentally for several years. Most studies investigating these molecules, however, have only focused on situations that do not involve quantum spins, as the many-body nature of Rydberg molecules makes analyzing their spin dynamics particularly challenging.

In a recent theoretical study, researchers at the University of Tokyo, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Max Planck Institute and Harvard University were able to capture the interplay of the Rydberg-electron spin dynamics and the orbital motion of atoms using a new method that combines an impurity-decoupling transformation with a Gaussian ansatz. Their papers, published in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A, introduce a new theoretical model that could also be applied to other quantum many-body problems...

Continue reading "A new theoretical model to capture spin dynamics in Rydberg molecules" by Ingrid Fadelli on Phys.org.