TY - JOUR

T1 - Toolbox for Abelian lattice gauge theories with synthetic matter

AU - Dutta, Omjoyoti

AU - Tagliacozzo, Luca

AU - Lewenstein, Maciej

AU - Zakrewski, Jakub

PY - 2017/5/4

Y1 - 2017/5/4

N2 - Fundamental forces of Nature are described by field theories, also known as gauge theories, based on a local gauge invariance. The simplest of them is quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is an example of an Abelian gauge theory. Such theories describe the dynamics of massless photons and their coupling to matter. However, in two spatial dimension (2D) they are known to exhibit gapped phases at low temperature. In the realm of quantum spin systems, it remains a subject of considerable debate if their low energy physics can be described by emergent gauge degrees of freedom. Here we present a class of simple two-dimensional models that admit a low energy description in terms of an Abelian gauge theory. We find rich phase diagrams for these models comprising exotic deconfined phases and gapless phases - a rare example for 2D Abelian gauge theories. The counter-intuitive presence of gapless phases in 2D results from the emergence of additional symmetry in the models. Moreover, we propose schemes to realize our model with current experiments using ultracold bosonic atoms in optical lattices.

AB - Fundamental forces of Nature are described by field theories, also known as gauge theories, based on a local gauge invariance. The simplest of them is quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is an example of an Abelian gauge theory. Such theories describe the dynamics of massless photons and their coupling to matter. However, in two spatial dimension (2D) they are known to exhibit gapped phases at low temperature. In the realm of quantum spin systems, it remains a subject of considerable debate if their low energy physics can be described by emergent gauge degrees of freedom. Here we present a class of simple two-dimensional models that admit a low energy description in terms of an Abelian gauge theory. We find rich phase diagrams for these models comprising exotic deconfined phases and gapless phases - a rare example for 2D Abelian gauge theories. The counter-intuitive presence of gapless phases in 2D results from the emergence of additional symmetry in the models. Moreover, we propose schemes to realize our model with current experiments using ultracold bosonic atoms in optical lattices.

KW - quantum electrodynamics

KW - Abelian gauge theory

KW - massless photons

KW - quantum spin systems

KW - ultracold bosonic atoms

KW - gapless phases

UR - https://journals.aps.org/pra/

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85026876880&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevA.95.053608

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevA.95.053608

M3 - Article

VL - 95

JO - Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

JF - Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

SN - 1050-2947

IS - 5

M1 - 053608

ER -