Measuring quantized circular dichroism in ultracold topological matter

Luca Asteria, Duc Thanh Tran, Tomoki Ozawa, Matthias Tarnowski, Benno S. Rem, Nick Fläschner, Klaus Sengstock, Nathan Goldman, Christof Weitenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


The topology of two-dimensional materials traditionally manifests itself through the quantization of the Hall conductance, which is revealed in transport measurements 1–3 . Recently, it was predicted that topology can also give rise to a characteristic spectroscopic response on subjecting a Chern insulator to a circular drive: comparing the frequency-integrated depletion rates associated with drives of opposite orientation leads to a quantized response dictated by the topological Chern number of the populated Bloch band 4,5 . Here we experimentally demonstrate this intriguing topological effect using ultracold fermionic atoms in topological Floquet bands. In addition, our depletion-rate measurements also provide an experimental estimation of the Wannier-spread functional, a fundamental geometric property of Bloch bands related to the quantum metric 6,7 . Our results establish topological spectroscopic responses as a versatile probe, which could be applied to access the geometry and topology of many-body quantum systems, such as fractional Chern insulators 8 .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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