Abstract

We propose a scheme to probe the non-Abelian statistics of the collective anyonic excitation in Kitaev’s honeycomb model with cold atoms in an optical lattice. The generation of the anyonic excitation can be realized by a simple rotating operation acting on an effective spin-1/2 system, which is encoded in the atomic hyperfine energy levels. The non-Abelian nature of the anyonic excitation is manifested by the braiding of four vortices, which leads to different operations on the subspace of degenerate ground states and thus results in different final states. Here, by introducing an ancilla atom, the effective control over the lattice atoms can be realized and the final different states can also be imprinted on the ancilla and further distinguished by measurement.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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