46 research outputs found

    Engineering a flux-dependent mobility edge in disordered zigzag chains

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    There has been great interest in realizing quantum simulators of charged particles in artificial gauge fields. Here, we perform the first quantum simulation explorations of the combination of artificial gauge fields and disorder. Using synthetic lattice techniques based on parametrically-coupled atomic momentum states, we engineer zigzag chains with a tunable homogeneous flux. The breaking of time-reversal symmetry by the applied flux leads to analogs of spin-orbit coupling and spin-momentum locking, which we observe directly through the chiral dynamics of atoms initialized to single lattice sites. We additionally introduce precisely controlled disorder in the site energy landscape, allowing us to explore the interplay of disorder and large effective magnetic fields. The combination of correlated disorder and controlled intra- and inter-row tunneling in this system naturally supports energy-dependent localization, relating to a single-particle mobility edge. We measure the localization properties of the extremal eigenstates of this system, the ground state and the most-excited state, and demonstrate clear evidence for a flux-dependent mobility edge. These measurements constitute the first direct evidence for energy-dependent localization in a lower-dimensional system, as well as the first explorations of the combined influence of artificial gauge fields and engineered disorder. Moreover, we provide direct evidence for interaction shifts of the localization transitions for both low- and high-energy eigenstates in correlated disorder, relating to the presence of a many-body mobility edge. The unique combination of strong interactions, controlled disorder, and tunable artificial gauge fields present in this synthetic lattice system should enable myriad explorations into intriguing correlated transport phenomena.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures, 5 pages of supplementary materials; updated version has additional dat

    Superfluidity of Interacting Bosonic Mixtures in Optical Lattices

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    We report the observation of many-body interaction effects for a homonuclear bosonic mixture in a three-dimensional optical lattice with variable state dependence along one axis. Near the superfluid-to-Mott insulator transition for one component, we find that the presence of a second component can reduce the apparent superfluid coherence, most significantly when it either experiences a strongly localizing lattice potential or none at all. We examine this effect by varying the relative populations and lattice depths, and discuss the observed behavior in view of recent proposals for scattering from impurities and of atom-phonon coupling for atoms immersed in a superfluid.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Synthetic dimensions in ultracold molecules: quantum strings and membranes

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    Synthetic dimensions alter one of the most fundamental properties in nature, the dimension of space. They allow, for example, a real three-dimensional system to act as effectively four-dimensional. Driven by such possibilities, synthetic dimensions have been engineered in ongoing experiments with ultracold matter. We show that rotational states of ultracold molecules can be used as synthetic dimensions extending to many - potentially hundreds of - synthetic lattice sites. Microwaves coupling rotational states drive fully controllable synthetic inter-site tunnelings, enabling, for example, topological band structures. Interactions leads to even richer behavior: when molecules are frozen in a real space lattice with uniform synthetic tunnelings, dipole interactions cause the molecules to aggregate to a narrow strip in the synthetic direction beyond a critical interaction strength, resulting in a quantum string or a membrane, with an emergent condensate that lives on this string or membrane. All these phases can be detected using measurements of rotational state populations.Comment: 5-page article + 4 figures + references; 7 pages + 4 figures in Supplemen