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Buser, Maximilian; Hubig, Claudius; Schollwoeck, Ulrich; Tarruell, Leticia; Heidrich-Meisner, Fabian (2020): Interacting bosonic flux ladders with a synthetic dimension: Ground-state phases and quantum quench dynamics. In: Physical Review A, Vol. 102, No. 5, 053314
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Flux ladders constitute the minimal setup enabling a systematic understanding of the rich physics of interacting particles subjected simultaneously to strong magnetic fields and a lattice potential. In this paper, the ground-state phase diagram of a flux-ladder model is mapped out using extensive density-matrix renormalization-group simulations. The emphasis is put on parameters which can be experimentally realized exploiting the internal states of potassium atoms as a synthetic dimension. The focus is on accessible observables such as the chiral current and the leg-population imbalance. Considering a particle filling of one boson per rung, we report the existence of a Mott-insulating Meissner phase as well as biased-ladder phases on top of superfluids and Mott insulators. Furthermore, we demonstrate that quantum quenches from suitably chosen initial states can be used to probe the equilibrium properties in the transient dynamics. Concretely, we consider the instantaneous turning on of hopping matrix elements along the rungs or legs in the synthetic flux-ladder model, with different initial particle distributions. We show that clear signatures of the biased-ladder phase can be observed in the transient dynamics. Moreover, the behavior of the chiral current in the transient dynamics is discussed. The results presented in this paper provide guidelines for future implementations of flux ladders in experimental setups exploiting a synthetic dimension.