Probing non trivial magnetic ordering in quantum magnets realized with ultracold lattice gases demands detection methods with some spatial resolution built on it. Here we demonstrate that the Faraday matter-light interface provides an experimentally feasible tool to distinguish indubitably different quantum phases of a given many-body system in a non-demolishing way. We illustrate our approach by focussing on the Heisenberg chain for spin-1 bosons in the presence of a SU(2) symmetry breaking field. We explain how using the light signal obtained via homodyne detection one can reconstruct the phase diagram of the model. Further we show that the very same technique that provides a direct experimentally measurable signal of different order parameters can be extended to detect also the presence of multipartite entanglement in such systems. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Optical lattices