Chains with loops - synthetic magnetic fluxes and topological order in one-dimensional spin systems

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Tobias Grass, Christine Muschik, Alessio Celi, Ravindra Chhajlany, Maciej Lewenstein


Phys. Rev. A 91, 063612 (2015).

Engineering topological quantum order has become a major field of physics. Many advances have been made by synthesizing gauge fields in cold atomic systems. Here, we carry over these developments to other platforms which are extremely well suited for quantum engineering, namely trapped ions and nano-trapped atoms. Since these systems are typically one-dimensional, the action of artificial magnetic fields has so far received little attention. However, exploiting the long-range nature of interactions, loops with non-vanishing magnetic fluxes become possible even in one-dimensional settings. This gives rise to intriguing phenomena, such as fractal energy spectra, flat bands with localized edge states, and topological many-body states. We elaborate on a simple scheme for generating the required artificial fluxes by periodically driving an XY spin chain. Concrete estimates demonstrating the experimental feasibility for trapped ions and atoms in waveguides are given.