Ultracold atoms are trapped circumferentially on a ring that is pierced at its center by a flux tube arising from a light-induced gauge potential due to applied Laguerre-Gaussian fields. We show that by using optical coherent state superpositions to produce light-induced gauge potentials, we can create a situation in which the trapped atoms are simultaneously exposed to two distinct flux tubes, thereby creating superpositions in atomic quantum rings. We consider the examples of both a ring geometry and harmonic trapping, and in both cases the ground state of the quantum system is shown to be a superposition of counter-rotating states of the atom trapped on the two distinct flux tubes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics