Quantum Spin Liquids are exotic phases of matter whose low-energy physics is described as the deconfined phase of an emergent gauge theory. With recent theory proposals and an experiment showing preliminary signs of Z2 topological order, arrays of neutral atoms with Rydberg interactions have emerged as a promising platform to realize a spin liquid. In this work, we propose a way to realize the deconfined phase of U(1) gauge theory in 3 spatial dimensions from Rydberg interactions on a pyrochlore lattice. First, we show that for a range of ratios of laser detuning to interaction strength, the low energy manifold is the set of ice-rule obeying states displaying frustration – the first requirement for a spin liquid. The second requirement of quantum resonances between these states is served by the laser driving term. While the long-range van der Waals interaction weakly breaks the frustration, we consider its effect using a gauge mean field theory calculation. We find a range of Rabi frequencies in which the ground state is in the deconfined phase. By tuning the Rabi frequency, one can access both the confinement-deconfinement transition driven by the proliferation of “magnetic” monopoles as well as the Higgs transition driven by proliferation of “electric” charges of the emergent gauge theory. We suggest experimental probes for distinguishing the deconfined phase from ordered phases. This work serves as a proposal to access a confinement-deconfinement transition in 3 spatial dimensions on the Rydberg platform.
(Pizza and refreshments will be served after the talk.)