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Shaking a physical system typically heats it up, in the sense that the system continuously absorbs energy. When considering a circular shaking pattern, the amount of energy that is absorbed can potentially depend on the orientation of the circular drive (clockwise/anti-clockwise), a general phenomenon known as circular dichroism.
In 2017, Nathan Goldman (ULB, Brussels), Peter Zoller (IQOQI, Innsbruck) and coworkers predicted that circular dichroism can be quantized in quantum systems (heating is then constrained by strict integers) forming a "topological state." According to this theoretical prediction, the quantization of energy absorption upon circular driving can be directly related to topology, a fundamental mathematical concept that characterizes these intriguing states of matter.
Nature - Physics - Group - Klaus - Sengstock
Writing in Nature Physics, the experimental group of Klaus Sengstock and Christof Weitenberg (Hamburg), in collaboration with the team of Nathan Goldman, reports on the first observation of...
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