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Simulating higher spatial dimensions with atoms and photons

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Spatial dimensionality deeply affects the physical phenomena which can emerge in a system. Our physical world has three spatial dimensions, and so condensed matter physicists have long asked what happens when quantum particles are effectively confined to move in 1D, 2D or 3D geometries. However, recent advances in ultracold atomic and photonics systems are now providing ways to go beyond these limitations, in order to simulate the physics associated with four or more effective spatial dimensions. As I will present, the development of techniques such as “synthetic dimensions” and “topological pumping” with photons or atoms can allow us to explore higher-dimensional phenomena, such as the 4D topological quantum Hall effect, for the first time.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Quantum Colloquium series.

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