Simulating a quantum magnet with trapped ions

Friedenauer, A, Schmitz, H, Glueckert, J T, Porras, D and Schaetz, T (2008) Simulating a quantum magnet with trapped ions. Nature Physics, 4. pp. 757-761. ISSN 1745-2473

[img] PDF
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (242kB)


To gain deeper insight into the dynamics of complex quantum systems we need a quantum leap in computer simulations. We cannot translate quantum behaviour arising from superposition states or entanglement efficiently into the classical language of conventional computers. The solution to this problem, proposed in 1982 (ref. 1), is simulating the quantum behaviour of interest in a different quantum system where the interactions can be controlled and the outcome detected sufficiently well. Here we study the building blocks for simulating quantum spin Hamiltonians with trapped ions2. We experimentally simulate the adiabatic evolution of the smallest non-trivial spin system from paramagnetic into ferromagnetic order with a quantum magnetization for two spins of 98%. We prove that the transition is not driven by thermal fluctuations but is of quantum-mechanical origin (analogous to quantum fluctuations in quantum phase transitions3). We observe a final superposition state of the two degenerate spin configurations for the ferromagnetic order (|++> + |-->), corresponding to deterministic entanglement achieved with 88% fidelity. This method should allow for scaling to a higher number of coupled spins2, enabling implementation of simulations that are intractable on conventional computers.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC0170 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter Including molecular physics, relativity, quantum theory, and solid state physics
Q Science > QC Physics > QC0501 Electricity and magnetism > QC0750 Magnetism
Depositing User: Diego Porras
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 12:20
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:17

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update