Unconventional magnetism via optical pumping of interacting spin systems

Tony E. Lee, Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Mikhail D. Lukin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


We consider strongly interacting systems of effective spins, subject to dissipative spin-flip processes associated with optical pumping. We predict the existence of novel magnetic phases in the steady state of this system, which emerge due to the competition between coherent and dissipative processes. Specifically, for strongly anisotropic spin-spin interactions, we find ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, spin-density-wave, and staggered-XY steady states, which are separated by nonequilibrium phase transitions meeting at a Lifshitz point. These transitions are accompanied by quantum correlations, resulting in spin squeezing. Experimental implementations in ultracold atoms and trapped ions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number257204
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 19 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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