We investigate the ground state phase diagram of square ice -- a U(1) lattice gauge theory in two spatial dimensions -- using gauge invariant tensor network techniques. By correlation function, Wilson loop, and entanglement diagnostics, we characterize its phases and the transitions between them, finding good agreement with previous studies. We study the entanglement properties of string excitations on top of the ground state, and provide direct evidence of the fact that the latter are described by a conformal field theory. Our results pave the way to the application of tensor network methods to confining, two-dimensional lattice gauge theories, to investigate their phase diagrams and low-lying excitations.
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- 1 Universität Ulm / University of Ulm
- 2 Universität des Saarlandes / Saarland University
- 3 Università degli Studi di Padova / University of Padua [UNIPD]
- 4 Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati / International School for Advanced Studies [SISSA]
- 5 Centro Internazionale di Fisica Teorica Abdus Salam / Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics [ICTP]