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November 2017: Realizing topological relativistic dynamics with slow light polaritons at room temperature


M. Namazi, B. Jordaan, C. Noh, D. G. Angelakis, E. Figueroa


Here we use a slow light quantum light-matter interface at room temperature to implement an analog simulator of complex relativistic and topological physics. We have realized the famous Jackiw-Rebbi model (JR), the celebrated first example where relativity meets topology. Our system is based upon interacting dark state polaritons (DSP’s) created by storing light in a rubidium vapor using a dual-tripod atomic system. The DSP’s temporal evolution emulates the physics of Dirac spinors and is engineered to follow the JR regime by using a linear magnetic field gradient. We also probe the obtained topologically protected zero-energy mode by analyzing the time correlations between the spinor components. Our implementation paves the way towards quantum simulation of more complex phenomena involving many quantum relativistic particles.