### Abstract

We show that exotic phases arise in generalized lattice gauge theories known as quantum link models in which classical gauge fields are replaced by quantum operators. While these quantum models with discrete variables have a finite-dimensional Hilbert space per link, the continuous gauge symmetry is still exact. An efficient cluster algorithm is used to study these exotic phases. The (2+1)-d system is confining at zero temperature with a spontaneously broken translation symmetry. A crystalline phase exhibits confinement via multi-stranded strings between chargeanti- charge pairs. A phase transition between two distinct confined phases is weakly first order and has an emergent spontaneously broken approximate SO(2) global symmetry. The low-energy physics is described by a (2 + 1)-d RP(1) effective field theory, perturbed by a dangerously irrelevant SO(2) breaking operator, which prevents the interpretation of the emergent pseudo- Goldstone boson as a dual photon. This model is an ideal candidate to be implemented in quantum simulators to study phenomena that are not accessible using Monte Carlo simulations such as the real- Time evolution of the confining string and the real- Time dynamics of the pseudo-Goldstone boson.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 333 |

Journal | Proceedings of Science |

Volume | 29-July-2013 |

Publication status | Published - 2013 Jan 1 |

Event | 31st International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory, LATTICE 2013 - Mainz, Germany Duration: 2013 Jul 29 → 2013 Aug 3 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- General

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## Cite this

*Proceedings of Science*,

*29-July-2013*, [333].