Photon-assisted-tunneling toolbox for quantum simulations in ion traps

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We describe a versatile toolbox for the quantum simulation of many-body lattice models, capable of exploring the combined effects of background Abelian and non-Abelian gauge fields, bond and site disorder and strong on-site interactions. We show how to control the quantum dynamics of particles trapped in lattice potentials by the photon-assisted tunneling induced by periodic drivings. This scheme is general enough to be applied to either bosons or fermions with the additional advantage of being non-perturbative. It finds an ideal application in microfabricated ion trap arrays, where the quantized vibrational modes of the ions can be described by a quantum lattice model. We present a detailed theoretical proposal for a quantum simulator in that experimental setup, and show that it is possible to explore phases of matter that range from the fractional quantum Hall effect, to exotic strongly correlated glasses or flux-lattice models decorated with arbitrary patterns of localized defects.
© IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. This work was partially supported by the EU Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs) HIP, PICC, QUITEMAD S2009-ESP-1594, FIS2009-10061, CAM- UCM / 910758 and Ramón and Ramón y Cajal (RyC) contract no. Y200200074.
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