ERC Advanced Grant AtomicGaugeSimulator:

Classical and Quantum Simulation of Gauge Theories in Particle and Condensed Matter Physics

Project duration: February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2019
ERC Project Tasks

Studies of Quantum Simulators for Gauge Theories:

In collaboration with Peter Zoller and his group we have constructed quantum simulators for dynamical gauge theories, using ultracold atoms in optical lattices. The gauge fields are represented by quantum links - gauge analogs of quantum spins - which realize continuous gauge invariance with discrete variables in a small Hilbert space that can be represented by discrete states of cold matter. Quantum link models have been developed in collaboration with Shailesh Chandrasekharan.

Studies of Confinement, Deconfinement, and Strings in Lattice Yang-Mills Theory:

My collaborators and I have initiated studies of confinement and deconfinement in Yang-Mills theory with the exceptional center-less gauge group G(2) as well as of Sp(N) gauge theories. Michele Pepe and I have observed cascadic decays of strings connecting external charges in higher-dimensional representations. Together with Ferdinando Gliozzi, we have also performed the first precise numerical calculation of the width of Yang-Mills strings, in quantitative agreement with a systematic low-energy effective string theory.

Studies of the Sign Problem:

The sign problem hinders progress in understanding many strongly coupled quantum systems. Mattias Troyer and I have shown that some sign problems are NP-hard, and thus practically impossible to solve. This means that no generally applicable method to solve all sign problems can exist. Still, the meron-cluster algorithm, and the more recently developed nested cluster algorithm can be used to either completely solve or at least substantially alleviate very severe sign problems.