Thursday, March 21, 2013

1303.5040 (Erez Zohar et al.)

Quantum simulations of gauge theories with ultracold atoms: local gauge
invariance from angular momentum conservation

Erez Zohar, J. Ignacio Cirac, Benni Reznik
Quantum simulations of High Energy Physics, and especially of gauge theories, is an emerging and exciting direction in quantum simulations. However, simulations of such theories, compared to simulations of condensed matter physics, must satisfy extra restrictions, such as local gauge and Lorentz invariance. In this paper we discuss these special requirements, and present a new method for quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories using ultracold atoms. This method allows to include local gauge invariance as a \emph{fundamental} symmetry of the atomic Hamiltonian, arising from natural atomic interactions and conservation laws (and not as a property of a low energy sector). This allows us to implement elementary gauge invariant interactions for three lattice gauge theories: compact QED (U(1)), SU(N) and Z_N, which can be used to build quantum simulators in 1+1 dimensions. We also present a new loop method, which uses the elementary interactions as building blocks in the effective construction of quantum simulations for d+1 dimensional lattice gauge theories (d>1), without having to use Gauss's law as a constraint, as in previous proposals. We discuss in detail the quantum simulation of 2+1 dimensional compact QED and provide a numerical proof of principle. The simplicity of the already gauge invariant elementary interactions of this model suggests it may be useful for future experimental realizations.
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