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Li, Tracy; Duca, Lucia; Reitter, Martin; Grusdt, Fabian; Demler, Eugene; Endres, Manuel; Schleier-Smith, Monika; Bloch, Immanuel and Schneider, Ulrich (2016): Bloch state tomography using Wilson lines. In: Science, Vol. 352, No. 6289: pp. 1094-1097

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Topology and geometry are essential to our understanding of modern physics, underlying many foundational concepts from high-energy theories, quantum information, and condensed-matter physics. In condensed-matter systems, a wide range of phenomena stem from the geometry of the band eigenstates, which is encoded in the matrix-valued-Wilson line for general multiband systems. Using an ultracold gas of rubidium atoms loaded in a honeycomb optical lattice, we realize strong-force dynamics in Bloch bands that are described by Wilson lines and observe an evolution in the band populations that directly reveals the band geometry. Our technique enables a full determination of band eigenstates, Berry curvature, and topological invariants, including single-and multiband Chern and Z(2) numbers.

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