Cécile Repellin
LPMMC, Université Grenoble-Alpes

“Detecting fractional Chern insulators in few-boson systems”

Realizing strongly-correlated topological phases of ultracold gases is a central goal for ongoing experiments. And while fractional quantum Hall states could soon be implemented in small atomic ensembles, detecting their signatures in few-particle settings remains a fundamental challenge. We numerically analyze the center-of-mass Hall drift of a small ensemble of hardcore bosons, initially prepared in the ground state of the Harper-Hofstadter-Hubbard model. By extracting the Hall conductivity in a wide range of the magnetic flux, we identify an emergent Hall plateau compatible with a fractional Chern insulator state: the width of the plateau agrees with the spectral and topological properties of the prepared ground state, while the Hall conductivity approaches a fractional value determined by the many-body Chern number. A comparison with a direct application of Streda’s formula is also discussed. Our calculations suggest that fractional Chern insulators can be detected in cold-atom experiments, using available detection methods.