Indexed on: 05 Dec '13Published on: 05 Dec '13Published in: Quantum Physics
We analyze the influence of dipole-dipole interactions between Rydberg atoms on the generation of Abelian artificial gauge potentials and fields. When two Rydberg atoms are driven by a uniform laser field, we show that the combined atom-atom and atom-field interactions give rise to new, nonuniform, artificial gauge potentials. We identify the mechanism responsible for the emergence of these gauge potentials. Analytical expressions for the latter indicate that the strongest artificial magnetic fields are reached in the regime intermediate between the dipole blockade regime and the regime in which the atoms are sufficiently far apart such that atom-light interaction dominates over atom-atom interactions. We discuss the differences and similarities of artificial gauge fields originating from resonant dipole-dipole and van der Waals interactions. We also give an estimation of experimentally attainable artificial magnetic fields resulting from this mechanism and we discuss their detection through the deflection of the atomic motion.