Synthetic gauge fields in synthetic dimensions

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A. Celi, P. Massignan, J. Ruseckas, N. Goldman, I.B. Spielman, G. Juzeliunas, M. Lewenstein


Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 043001 (2014)

We describe a simple technique for generating a cold-atom lattice pierced by a uniform magnetic field. Our method is to extend a one-dimensional optical lattice into the "dimension" provided by the internal atomic degrees of freedom, yielding a synthetic 2D lattice. Suitable laser-coupling between these internal states leads to a uniform magnetic flux within the 2D lattice. We show that this setup reproduces the main features of magnetic lattice systems, such as the fractal Hofstadter butterfly spectrum and the chiral edge states of the associated Chern insulating phases.