Scientific Results

Majorana Quasiparticles Protected by Z2 Angular Momentum Conservation

Year: 2017

Authors: Iemini F., Mazza L., Fallani L., Zoller P., Fazio R., Dalmonte M.

Autors Affiliation: Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, Trieste, I-34151, Italy; Departement de Physique, Ecole Normale Superieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, Paris, F-75005, France; Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, I-50019, Italy; LENS European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy, Sesto Fiorentino, I-50019, Italy; Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, A-6020, Austria; Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck, A-6020, Austria; NEST, Scuola Normale Superiore, Istituto Nanoscienze, CNR, Pisa, I-56126, Italy

Abstract: We show how angular momentum conservation can stabilize a symmetry-protected quasitopological phase of matter supporting Majorana quasiparticles as edge modes in one-dimensional cold atom gases. We investigate a number-conserving four-species Hubbard model in the presence of spin-orbit coupling. The latter reduces the global spin symmetry to an angular momentum parity symmetry, which provides an extremely robust protection mechanism that does not rely on any coupling to additional reservoirs. The emergence of Majorana edge modes is elucidated using field theory techniques, and corroborated by density-matrix-renormalization-group simulations. Our results pave the way toward the observation of Majorana edge modes with alkaline-earth-like fermions in optical lattices, where all basic ingredients for our recipe – spin-orbit coupling and strong interorbital interactions – have been experimentally realized over the last two years.


Volume: 118 (20)      Pages from: 200404-1  to: 200404-6

More Information: This work is partly supported by EU-IP-QUIC (R.F.), the ERC Synergy grant UQUAM (P.Z.), and the ERC Consolidator grant TOPSIM (L.F.). L.M. was supported by LabEX ENS-ICFP: ANR-10- LABX-0010/ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL. This work was granted access to the HPC resources of MesoPSL financed by the Region Ile de France and the project Equip@Meso (reference ANR-10-EQPX-29-01).
KeyWords: Angular momentum; Optical lattices; Orbits; Statistical mechanics, Alkaline earth; Angular momentum conservation; Density matrix renormalization group; Field theory; Protection mechanisms; Quasiparticles; Spin symmetry; Spin-orbit couplings, Conservation
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.200404

Citations: 18
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