10-16 June 2018
Dalhousie University
America/Halifax timezone
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How to simulate models from high energy physics in atomic physics experiments (I)

12 Jun 2018, 16:00
30m
SUB 303 (cap.100) (Dalhousie University)

SUB 303 (cap.100)

Dalhousie University

Invited Speaker / Conférencier(ère) invité(e) Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Canada / Division de la physique atomique, moléculaire et photonique, Canada (DAMOPC-DPAMPC) T4-2 Quantum Optics and Trapped Ions** (DAMOPC) | Optique quantique et ions piégés (DPAMPC)

Speaker

Prof. Christine Muschik (IQC - Institute for Quantum Computing)

Description

Gauge theories are fundamental to our understanding of interactions between the elementary constituents of matter as mediated by gauge bosons. However, computing the real-time dynamics in gauge theories is a notorious challenge for classical computational methods. In the spirit of Feynman's vision of a quantum simulator, this has recently stimulated theoretical effort to devise schemes for simulating such theories on engineered quantum-mechanical devices, with the difficulty that gauge invariance and the associated local conservation laws (Gauss laws) need to be implemented. Here we report the first experimental demonstration of a digital quantum simulation of a lattice gauge theory, by realising 1+1-dimensional quantum electrodynamics (Schwinger model) on a few-qubit trapped-ion quantum computer. We are interested in the real-time evolution of the Schwinger mechanism, describing the instability of the bare vacuum due to quantum fluctuations, which manifests itself in the spontaneous creation of electron-positron pairs. To make efficient use of our quantum resources, we map the original problem to a spin model by eliminating the gauge fields in favour of exotic long-range interactions, which have a direct and efficient implementation on an ion trap architecture. We explore the Schwinger mechanism of particle-antiparticle generation by monitoring the mass production and the vacuum persistence amplitude. Moreover, we track the real-time evolution of entanglement in the system, which illustrates how particle creation and entanglement generation are directly related. Our work represents a first step towards quantum simulating high-energy theories with atomic physics experiments, the long-term vision being the extension to real-time quantum simulations of non-Abelian lattice gauge theories.

Primary author

Prof. Christine Muschik (IQC - Institute for Quantum Computing)

Co-authors

Presentation Materials