To simulate in a laboratory what happens in particle accelerators has been an ambitious goal in the study of the fundamental forces of nature pursued by high-energy physicists for many years. Now, thanks to research conducted by the groups of statistical physics of SISSA—Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati and the "Abdus Salam" International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), that goal is closer to reach.

"We have dealt with a gauge , more precisely the Schwinger model, which mathematically describes the interaction between microscopic charged particles, like electrons and positrons, and an in a spatial dimension," said Federica Surace, Ph.D. student at SISSA and lead author of the research, recently published on Physical Review X. "We have shown that this theory can be simulated in an experiment with ultracold atoms better than what calculators have done to date. This experiment was conducted in Prof. Lukin's laboratory at Harvard University."

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