Continuous Symmetry Breaking in a Trapped-Ion Spin Chain

Speaker Name/Affiliation
Prof. Zhexuan Gong / Colorado School of Mines
Seminar Type
Location (Room)
Event Details & Abstracts

Abstract: One-dimensional systems exhibiting a continuous symmetry can host quantum phases of matter with true long-range order only in the presence of sufficiently long-range interactions. In most physical systems, however, the interactions are short-ranged, hindering the emergence of such phases in one dimension. Here we use a one-dimensional trapped-ion quantum simulator to prepare states with long-range spin order that extends over the system size of up to 23 spins and is characteristic of the continuous symmetry-breaking phase of matter. Our preparation relies on simultaneous control over an array of tightly focused individual-addressing laser beams, generating long-range spin-spin interactions. We also observe a disordered phase with frustrated correlations. We further study the phases at different ranges of interaction and the out-of-equilibrium response to symmetry-breaking perturbations. This work opens an avenue to study new quantum phases and out-of-equilibrium dynamics in low-dimensional systems.