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Paula - Linear Quantum-Spin Systems


Florian Hasse, Deviprasath Palani, Apurba Das, Ulrich Warring, and Tobias Schaetz 

Linear Quantum Worlds – Exploring Extreme Conditions

Quantum Simulation with Trapped Atomic Ions

    Richard Feynman initially introduced the concept of utilizing a controlled quantum system as a quantum computer (QC) to efficiently solve problems too intricate for classical computers, like the quantum dynamics of many-body systems. Nowadays, we differentiate this original idea as an analog quantum simulator (AQS) from a QC, where the system's dynamics are executed through gate operations algorithms on qubit subsets. In AQS, we carefully evolve a quantum system from a known initial state to a new one by manipulating its Hamiltonian, unveiling complex dynamics such as quantum phase transitions. Both AQS and QC are instrumental in exploring underlying physics and can simulate processes in quantum chemistry and possibly in quantum biology, like photosynthesis, where the role of quantum mechanics in influencing biological and macroscopic entities is still discussed. Observing a controlled model quantum system directly helps us gain a profound understanding of these essential components.


Laser cooled trapped ions form complex 3D (cp. KINKS) and more simple linear Coulomb crystals.

    Presently, various physical systems are being explored to implement Quantum Computers (QC) and Analog Quantum Simulators (AQS), and our approach is focused on using trapped ions. There has been remarkable progress in controlling the dynamics of such isolated quantum systems, as underscored by the 2012 Physics Nobel Prize awarded to S. Haroche and D. J. Wineland for their pioneering methods in measuring and manipulating individual quantum systems. However, these controlled quantum systems have been confined to a few constituents to minimize residual decoherence effects. The development of methods for large-scale systems is still ongoing. One of our objectives is to foster a more robust implementation of these systems, facilitating progress toward larger quantum systems, as seen in the BERMUDA project. Concurrently, the PAULA apparatus aims to investigate the couplings of isolated quantum systems to well-controlled environments and study extreme conditions, i.e., strong and fast variations of couplings, exploring also processes otherwise inaccessible.

Impressions from our quantum lab: ion trap, laser system, and second-harmonic-generation stage.

    In the past, PAULA has been used to demonstrate the first optical trap for ions (now dedicated spin-off projects: TIAMO) and proof-of-principle quantum simulation experiments, e.g., simulation of a quantum phase transition [Nature Physics 4, 757 - 761 (2008)] and quantum walk [Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 090504 (2009)].

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