The observed large-scale structure in our Universe is seen as a result of quantum fluctuations amplified by spacetime evolution. This, and related problems in cosmology, asks for an understanding of the quantum fields of the standard model and dark matter in curved spacetime. Even the reduced problem of a scalar quantum field in an explicitly time-dependent spacetime metric is a theoretical challenge and thus a quantum field simulator can lead to new insights. Here, we demonstrate such a quantum field simulator in a two-dimensional Bose-Einstein condensate with a configurable trap and adjustable interaction strength to implement this model system. We explicitly show the realisation of spacetimes with positive and negative spatial curvature by wave packet propagation and confirm particle pair production in controlled power-law expansion of space. We find quantitative agreement with new analytical predictions for different curvatures in time and space. This benchmarks and thereby establishes a quantum field simulator of a new class. In the future, straightforward upgrades offer the possibility to enter new, so far unexplored, regimes that give further insight into relativistic quantum field dynamics.
C.Viermann, M.Sparn, N. Liebster, M. Hans, E. Kath, Á. Parra-López, M. Tolosa-Simeón, N. Sánchez-Kuntz, T. Haas, H. Strobel, S. Floerchinger, M. K. Oberthaler, “Quantum field simulator for dynamics in curved spacetime”, arXiv:2202.10399 (2022).
Related to Project B04