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Quantum simulation reveals mobility edge in a low-dimensional disordered landscape

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Irene Diaz
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Scientists have probed novel materials like these to uncover the physics of topological superconductivity and topological insulators.

Now scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using an innovative quantum simulation technique have made one of the first observations of a mobility edge in a low-dimensional system.

Physics professor Bryce Gadway and graduate student Fangzhao Alex An were able to combine a disordered virtual material--in this case a pair of coupled 1D chains--with artificial magnetic fields to explore this phenomenon.

An explains, "The artificial magnetic field we engineered causes the neutral atoms in our experiment to behave like electrons in extremely large magnetic fields, equivalent to applying hundreds of Tesla-level magnets.

We were able to vary the strength of our artificial magnetic field to tune the properties of our atoms and strongly modify the observed mobility edge."

So what exactly is a mobility edge?

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Irene Diaz
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