Unconventional SU(N) magnetism with the alkaline earth atoms and chiral spin liquids
Certain cold atoms, namely those whose electronic degrees of freedom are
decoupled from their nuclear spin, and in particular, all the alkaline
earth atoms, can be thought of as quantum particles with an SU(N)-symmetric
spin. We show that the Mott insulator of such cold atoms is an SU(N)-symmetric
antiferromagnet of the type previously not studied in the literature. We
further show that in two dimensions, this antiferromagnet is a chiral spin
liquid, a long sought-after topological state of magnets, with fractional and
non-Abelian excitations.