LaGaTYb: Exploring lattice gauge theories with fermionic Ytterbium atoms

Gauge theories establish a connection between seemingly different physical areas, ranging from high-energy to condensed matter physics. Very often gauge theories are difficult to study theoretically in particular in the strongly-interacting regime, where perturbative methods are not reliable. This motivates the search for alternative approaches using quantum simulation. Ultracold atoms in optical lattices have proven powerful in studying important condensed matter models and intriguing results have been achieved in simulating static background gauge fields. This establishes a link to more general gauge theories, yet these are out-of-reach due to complex requirements e.g. regarding the implementation of gauge and matter field degrees of freedom. Within this project, we are going to develop a novel experimental platform that combines two unique features: precise local control and scalability to generate advanced optical lattices with locally controllable tunnel couplings. It will facilitate the implementation of a broad class of gauge theories, so-called quantum link models, with fermionic atoms, where matter and gauge fields are interpreted as different lattice sites.

This project is funded via the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 803047)

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