Quantum states can acquire a geometric phase called the Berry phase after adiabatically traversing a closed loop, which depends on the path not the rate of motion. The Berry phase is analogous to the Aharonov–Bohm phase derived from the electromagnetic vector potential, and can be expressed in terms of an Abelian gauge potential called the Berry connection. Wilczek and Zee extended this concept to include non-Abelian phases—characterized by the gauge-independent Wilson loop—resulting from non-Abelian gauge potentials. Using an atomic Bose–Einstein condensate, we quantum-engineered a non-Abelian SU(2) gauge field, generated by a Yang monopole located at the origin of a 5-dimensional parameter space. By slowly encircling the monopole, we characterized the Wilczek–Zee phase in terms of the Wilson loop, that depended on the solid-angle subtended by the encircling path: a generalization of Stokes’ theorem. This observation marks the observation of the Wilson loop resulting from a non-Abelian point source.
Photonic gauge potentials are crucial for manipulating charge-neutral photons like their counterpart electrons in the electromagnetic field, allowing the analogous Aharonov–Bohm effect in photonics and paving the way for critical applications such as photonic isolation. Normally, a gauge potential exhibits phase inversion along two opposite propagation paths. Here we experimentally demonstrate phonon-induced anomalous gauge potentials with noninverted gauge phases in a spatial-frequency space, where near-phase-matched nonlinear Brillouin scatterings enable such unique direction-dependent gauge phases. Based on this scheme, we construct photonic isolators in the frequency domain permitting nonreciprocal propagation of light along the frequency axis, where coherent phase control in the photonic isolator allows switching completely the directionality through an Aharonov–Bohm interferometer. Moreover, similar coherent controlled unidirectional frequency conversions are also illustrated. These results may offer a unique platform for a compact, integrated solution to implement synthetic-dimension devices for on-chip optical signal processing.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Optical Society of America
- Date Published:
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- Article No. 1448
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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