CMT Theory seminar: Quantum Simulation of Interacting Spin Models with Many Trapped Ions

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Regents 351
Crystal Senko
Department of Physics, University of Maryland

A collection of trapped atomic ions is an excellent system for simulating quantum many-body physics, like magnetism, which may be difficult to access via classical computation or traditional condensed-matter experiments. Our large crystals of 10-20 ions comprise a platform to study a long-range quantum Ising model with tunable couplings in a 1D spin chain. Spin-spin couplings are engineered using state-dependent optical dipole forces to mediate the Coulomb interaction, and fluorescence measurements on a camera are used to read out individual spin states. We investigate the creation of nontrivial spin orderings by accessing ground states with antiferromagnetic interactions and an axial magnetic field, and the use of a modulated transverse field to perform many-body spectroscopy and create excited and entangled states. Future work will continue to study dynamics, with the aim of exploring topics such as thermalization in an isolated quantum system, Lieb-Robinson bounds on the speed of information propagation, and the emergence of Kibble-Zurek-like behavior in a finite system. There is great promise in extending our system to 30+ spins, where calculations become classically intractable.

Host: Jim Freericks