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Kebric, Matjaz; Barbiero, Luca; Reinmoser, Christian; Schollwoeck, Ulrich and Grusdt, Fabian (2021): Confinement and Mott Transitions of Dynamical Charges in One-Dimensional Lattice Gauge Theories. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 127, No. 16, 167203

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Confinement is an ubiquitous phenomenon when matter couples to gauge fields, which manifests itself in a linear string potential between two static charges. Although gauge fields can be integrated out in one dimension, they can mediate nonlocal interactions which in turn influence the paradigmatic Luttinger liquid properties. However, when the charges become dynamical and their densities finite, understanding confinement becomes challenging. Here we show that confinement in 1D Z(2) lattice gauge theories, with dynamical matter fields and arbitrary densities, is related to translational symmetry breaking in a nonlocal basis. The exact transformation to this string-length basis leads us to an exact mapping of Luttinger parameters reminiscent of a Luther-Emery rescaling. We include the effects of local, but beyond contact, interactions between the matter particles, and show that confined mesons can form a Mott-insulating state when the deconfined charges cannot. While the transition to the Mott state cannot be detected in the Green's function of the charges, we show that the metallic state is characterized by hidden off-diagonal quasi-long-range order. Our predictions provide new insights to the physics of confinement of dynamical charges, and can be experimentally addressed in Rydberg-dressed quantum gases in optical lattices.

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