Quantum spin ice in three-dimensional Rydberg atom arrays



Jeet Shah, Gautam Nambiar, Alexey V. Gorshkov, Victor Galitski


Quantum spin liquids are exotic phases of matter whose low-energy physics is described as the deconfined phase of an emergent gauge theory. With recent theory proposals and an experiment showing preliminary signs of Z2 topological order [G. Semeghini et al., Science 374, 1242 (2021)], Rydberg atom arrays have emerged as a promising platform to realize a quantum spin liquid. In this work, we propose a way to realize a U(1) quantum spin liquid in three spatial dimensions, described by the deconfined phase of U(1) gauge theory in a pyrochlore lattice Rydberg atom array. We study the ground state phase diagram of the proposed Rydberg system as a function of experimentally relevant parameters. Within our calculation, we find that by tuning the Rabi frequency, one can access both the confinement-deconfinement transition driven by a proliferation of "magnetic" monopoles and the Higgs transition driven by a proliferation of "electric" charges of the emergent gauge theory. We suggest experimental probes for distinguishing the deconfined phase from ordered phases. This work serves as a proposal to access a confinement-deconfinement transition in three spatial dimensions on a Rydberg-based quantum simulator.


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