One limitation of atomic gases is that the interactions are typically short range and isotropic (s-wave), whereas the order parameters in nature often exhibit richer p- and d-wave symmetries. The impressive recent progress in the production of cold gases consisting of molecules with an electric dipole moment promises to lift this limitation, since the dipole-dipole interaction is long-range and anisotropic with both repulsive and attractive parts. The field of cold quantum gases is therefore at the verge of another breakthrough with the production of quantum degenerate dipolar gases.
In this project, we will investigate broken symmetry phases of two-dimensional (2D) dipolar gases, where the dipoles all point in the same direction due to an external field. Our project can be decomposed into four well-defined and closely connected problems: