Richard has a new preprint on ArXiv titled “Far-from-equilibrium dynamics of angular momentum in a quantum many-particle system”!
We use laser-induced rotation of single molecules embedded in superfluid helium nanodroplets to reveal angular momentum dynamics and transfer in a controlled setting, under far-from-equilibrium conditions. As an unexpected result, we observe pronounced oscillations of time-dependent molecular alignment that have no counterpart in gas-phase molecules. Angulon theory reveals that these oscillations originate from the unique rotational structure of molecules in He droplets and quantum-state-specific transfer of rotational angular momentum to the many-body He environment on picosecond timescales. Our results pave the way to understanding collective effects of macroscopic angular momentum exchange in solid state systems in a bottom-up fashion.