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Metal-Insulator Transition Revisited for Cold Atoms in Non-Abelian Gauge Potentials



Indubala I. Satija, D C. Dakin, Charles W. Clark


We discuss the possibility of realizing metal-insulator transitions with ultracold atoms in two-dimensional optical lattices in the presence of artificial gauge potentials. Such transitions have been extensively studied for magnetic fields corresponding to Abelian gauges; they occur when the magnetic flux penetrating the lattice plaquette is an irrational multiple of the magnetic flux quantum. Here we present the first study of these transitions for non-Abelian $U(2)$ gauge fields, which can be realized with atoms with two pairs of {\it degenerate} internal states. In contrast to the Abelian case, the spectrum and localization transition in the non-Abelian case is strongly influenced by atomic momenta. In addition to determining the localization boundary, the momentum fragments the spectrum and the minimum energy viewed as a function of momentum exhibits a step structure.Other key characteristics
Physical Review Letters


metal-insulator transitions, optical lattices


Satija, I. , Dakin, D. and Clark, C. (2006), Metal-Insulator Transition Revisited for Cold Atoms in Non-Abelian Gauge Potentials, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed February 25, 2024)
Created November 20, 2006, Updated February 17, 2017