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Hermitian and Non-Hermitian Topology from Photon-Mediated Interactions

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posted on 2023-03-04, 17:00 authored by Federico Roccati, Miguel Bello, Zongping Gong, Masahito Ueda, Francesco Ciccarello, Aurélia Chenu, Angelo Carollo
Light can mediate effective dipole-dipole interactions between atoms or quantum emitters coupled to a common environment. Exploiting them to tailor a desired effective Hamiltonian can have major applications and advance the search for many-body phases. Quantum technologies are mature enough to engineer large photonic lattices with sophisticated structures coupled to quantum emitters. In this context, a fundamental problem is to find general criteria to tailor a photonic environment that mediates a desired effective Hamiltonian of the atoms. Among these criteria, topological properties are of utmost importance since an effective atomic Hamiltonian endowed with a non-trivial topology can be protected against disorder and imperfections. Here, we find general theorems that govern the topological properties (if any) of photon-mediated Hamiltonians in terms of both Hermitian and non-Hermitian topological invariants, thus unveiling a system-bath topological correspondence. The results depend on the number of emitters relative to the number of resonators. For a photonic lattice where each mode is coupled to a single quantum emitter, the Altland-Zirnbauer classification of topological insulators allows us to link the topology of the atoms to that of the photonic bath: we unveil the phenomena of topological preservation and reversal to the effect that the atomic topology can be the same or opposite to the photonic one, depending on Hermiticity of the photonic system and on the parity of the spatial dimension. As a consequence, the bulk-edge correspondence implies the existence of atomic boundary modes with the group velocity opposite to the photonic ones in a 2D Hermitian topological system. If there are fewer emitters than photonic modes, the atomic system is less constrained and no general photon-atom topological correspondence can be found. We show this with two counterexamples.

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