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Observation of Correlated Particle-Hole Pairs and String Order in Low-Dimensional Mott Insulators

Science  14 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6053, pp. 200-203
DOI: 10.1126/science.1209284

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Abstract

Quantum phases of matter are characterized by the underlying correlations of the many-body system. Although this is typically captured by a local order parameter, it has been shown that a broad class of many-body systems possesses a hidden nonlocal order. In the case of bosonic Mott insulators, the ground state properties are governed by quantum fluctuations in the form of correlated particle-hole pairs that lead to the emergence of a nonlocal string order in one dimension. By using high-resolution imaging of low-dimensional quantum gases in an optical lattice, we directly detect these pairs with single-site and single-particle sensitivity and observe string order in the one-dimensional case.

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