Simulating quantum-optical phenomena with cold atoms in optical lattices

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We propose a scheme involving cold atoms trapped in optical lattices to observe different phenomena traditionally linked to quantum-optical systems. The basic idea consists of connecting the trapped atomic state to a non-trapped state through a Raman scheme. The coupling between these two types of atoms (trapped and free) turns out to be similar to that describing light-matter interaction within the rotating-wave approximation, the role of matter and photons being played by the trapped and free atoms, respectively. We explain in particular how to observe phenomena arising from the collective spontaneous emission of atomic and harmonic oscillator samples, such as superradiance and directional emission. We also show how the same setup can simulate Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonians with extended hopping as well as Ising models with long-range interactions. We believe that this system can be realized with state of the art technology.
© IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaf. We thank Miguel Aguado, Mari Carmen Bañuls, Stephan Dürr, Géza Giedke, Eugenio Roldán and Germán J de Valcárcel for helpful discussions. CN-B also thanks Alberto Aparici for giving him access to Lux, as well as the Theory Group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik and Professors Susana Huelga and Martin Plenio at Ulm University for their hospitality. IdV acknowledges support and encouragement from Professors Susana Huelga and Martin Plenio. CN-B is a grant holder of the FPU program of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain) and acknowledges support from the Spanish Government and the European Union FEDER through project no. FIS2008-06024-C03-01. IdV has been supported by the EC under the grant agreement CORNER (FP7-ICT-213681). DP acknowledges contract no. RyC Y200200074 and Spanish project nos QUITEMAD and MICINN FIS2009-10061. JIC acknowledges support from the EU (AQUTE) and the DFG (FG 631).
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