Indexed on: 08 Oct '10Published on: 08 Oct '10Published in: Quantum Physics
We propose a scheme involving cold atoms trapped in optical lattices to observe different phenomena traditionally linked to quantum-optical systems. The basic idea consists of connecting the trapped atomic state to a non-trapped state through a Raman scheme. The coupling between these two types of atoms (trapped and free) turns out to be similar to that describing light-matter interaction within the rotating-wave approximation, the role of matter and photons being played by the trapped and free atoms, respectively. We explain in particular how to observe phenomena arising from the collective spontaneous emission of atomic and harmonic oscillator samples such as superradiance and directional emission. We also show how the same setup can simulate Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonians with extended hopping as well as Ising models with long-range interactions. We believe that this system can be realized with state of the art technology.