Tunneling-Induced Restoration of the Degeneracy and the Time-Reversal Symmetry Breaking in Optical Lattices

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2013-11-19 - 2013-12-06

Tomasz Sowiński, Mateusz Łacki, Omjyoti Dutta, Joanna Pietraszewicz, Piotr Sierant, Mariusz Gajda, Jakub Zakrzewski, Maciej Lewenstein


Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 215302 (2013)

We study the ground-state properties of bosons loaded into the p band of a one-dimensional optical lattice. We show that the phase diagram of the system is substantially affected by the anharmonicity of the lattice potential. In particular, for a certain range of tunneling strength, the full many-body ground state of the system becomes degenerate. In this region, an additional symmetry of the system, namely, the parity of the occupation number of the chosen orbital, is spontaneously broken. The state with a nonvanishing staggered angular momentum, which breaks the time-reversal symmetry, becomes the true ground state of the system.