Physical systems in which quantum simulators have successfully been demonstrated include so far Josephson arrays, ions traps and optical lattices (see the reviews R. Fazio and H. van der Zant, Phys. Rep. 355, 235 (2001) and M. Lewenstein et al., Adv. Phys. 56, 243 (2007)). Can there be another engineered quantum many-body system which could be used as an efficient quantum simulator? This will be especially interesting if the strengths of this system are ``complementary" to that of optical lattices -- for example if it allowed the co-existence of accessibility to individual constituents of a many-body system and a strong interaction between them, or if it allowed the simulation of arbitrary networks rather than those derivable from superposing lattices. Particularly arresting will be to find such phases by modifying a system of photons which, by being non-interacting, are naively expected to be unlikely candidates for the studies of many-body phenomena. These questions lie at the crux of this proposal.




18 Aug 2009

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