Synthetic Mechanical Lattices with Synthetic Interactions

Published in Physical Review A, 2023

Ritika Anandwade, Yaashnaa Singhal, Sai Naga Manoj Paladugu, Enrico Martello, Michael Castle, Shraddha Agrawal, Ellen Carlson, Cait Battle-McDonald, Tomoki Ozawa, Hannah M. Price, Bryce Gadway
Phys. Rev. A 108, 012221 (2023)

Metamaterials based on mechanical elements have been developed over the past decade as a powerful platform for exploring analogs of electron transport in exotic regimes that are hard to produce in real materials. In addition to enabling new physics explorations, such developments promise to advance the control over acoustic and mechanical metamaterials, and consequently to enable new capabilities for controlling the transport of sound and energy. Here, we demonstrate the building blocks of highly tunable mechanical metamaterials based on real-time measurement and feedback of modular mechanical elements. We experimentally engineer synthetic lattice Hamiltonians describing the transport of mechanical energy (phonons) in our mechanical system, with control over local site energies and loss and gain as well as control over the complex hopping between oscillators, including a natural extension to non-reciprocal hopping. Beyond linear terms, we experimentally demonstrate how this measurement-based feedback approach opens the window to independently introducing nonlinear interaction terms. Looking forward, synthetic mechanical lattices open the door to exploring phenomena related to topology, non-Hermiticity, and nonlinear dynamics in non-standard geometries, higher dimensions, and with novel multi-body interactions.