PerspectiveQuantum Simulation

Transport with strong interactions

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Science  25 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 344-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1326

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Summary

How do quantum particles move when they are interacting with other, identical particles? This question arises often in condensed-matter physics, for example, when considering the conduction of electrons in ordinary solids such as metals or insulators. However, these questions can now also be studied by using a gas of neutral atoms cooled to ultralow temperature and trapped by lasers. In two papers in this issue, Brown et al. (1) on page 379 and Nichols et al. (2) on page 383 have used atoms to explore the transport of mass and spin in the Fermi-Hubbard model, a simple model of particles residing in a lattice and repelling each other when sitting on the same site. In these atomic systems, all of the microscopic parameters are known a priori, such that the findings provide a testbed for advanced numerical simulation methods and theories.