Using quantum Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the one-dimensional fermionic Hubbard model in a harmonic potential displays quantum critical behavior at the boundaries of a Mott-insulating region. A local compressibility defined to characterize the Mott-insulating phase has a nontrivial critical exponent. Both the local compressibility and the variance of the local density show universality with respect to the confining potential. We determine a generic phase diagram, which allows the prediction of the phases to be observed in experiments with ultracold fermionic atoms trapped on optical lattices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)