The combination of interactions and static gauge fields plays a pivotal role in our understanding of strongly correlated quantum matter. Cold atomic gases endowed with a synthetic dimension are emerging as an ideal platform to experimentally address this interplay in quasi-one-dimensional systems. A fundamental question is whether these setups can give access to pristine two-dimensional phenomena, such as the fractional quantum Hall effect, and how.We show that unambiguous signatures of bosonic and fermionic Laughlin-like states can be observed and characterized in synthetic ladders. We theoretically diagnose these Laughlin-like states focusing on the chiral current flowing in the ladder, on the central charge of the low-energy theory, and on the properties of the entanglement entropy. Remarkably, Laughlin-like states are separated from conventional liquids by Lifschitz-type transitions, characterized by sharp discontinuities in the current profiles, which we address using extensive simulations based on matrix-product states. Our work provides a qualitative and quantitative guideline towards the observability and understanding of strongly correlated states of matter in synthetic ladders. In particular, we unveil how state-of-the-art experimental settings constitute an ideal starting point to progressively tackle two-dimensional strongly interacting systems from a ladder viewpoint, opening a new perspective for the observation of non-Abelian states of matter.
- Atomic and molecular physics