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Onset of a quantum phase transition with a trapped ion quantum simulator

TitleOnset of a quantum phase transition with a trapped ion quantum simulator
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsR. Islam, E. E. Edwards, K. Kim, S. Korenblit, C. Noh, H. J. Carmichael, G. - D. Lin, L. M. Duan, C. C. J. Wang, J. K. Freericks, and C. Monroe
JournalNat. Comm.
Date Publishedjan
Keywords2011, Computer Simulation, Fluorescence, Isotopes, Isotopes: chemistry, Magnetics, Models, Monte Carlo Method, Multiple JQI Affil., Phase Transition, Quantum Theory, Single Fellow, Theoretical, Thermodynamics, Ytterbium, Ytterbium: chemistry

A quantum simulator is a well-controlled quantum system that can follow the evolution of a prescribed model whose behaviour may be difficult to determine. A good example is the simulation of a set of interacting spins, where phase transitions between various spin orders can underlie poorly understood concepts such as spin liquids. Here we simulate the emergence of magnetism by implementing a fully connected non-uniform ferromagnetic quantum Ising model using up to 9 trapped (171)Yb(+) ions. By increasing the Ising coupling strengths compared with the transverse field, the crossover from paramagnetism to ferromagnetic order sharpens as the system is scaled up, prefacing the expected quantum phase transition in the thermodynamic limit. We measure scalable order parameters appropriate for large systems, such as various moments of the magnetization. As the results are theoretically tractable, this work provides a critical benchmark for the simulation of intractable arbitrary fully connected Ising models in larger systems.