We present a cryogenic ion trapping system designed for large scale quantum simulation of spin models. Our apparatus is based on a segmented-blade ion trap enclosed in a 4 K cryostat, which enables us to routinely trap over 100 171Yb+ ions in a linear configuration for hours due to a low background gas pressure from differential cryo-pumping. We characterize the cryogenic vacuum by using trapped ion crystals as a pressure gauge, measuring both inelastic and elastic collision rates with the molecular background gas. We demonstrate nearly equidistant ion spacing for chains of up to 44 ions using anharmonic axial potentials. This reliable production and lifetime enhancement of large linear ion chains will enable quantum simulation of spin models that are intractable with classical computer modelling.

1 aPagano, G.1 aHess, P., W.1 aKaplan, H., B.1 aTan, W., L.1 aRicherme, P.1 aBecker, P.1 aKyprianidis, A.1 aZhang, J.1 aBirckelbaw, E.1 aHernandez, M., R.1 aWu, Y.1 aMonroe, C. uhttps://arxiv.org/abs/1802.0311802050nas a2200205 4500008004100000245008900041210006900130260001500199520143900214100001801653700001401671700001601685700001401701700001701715700001701732700001801749700002501767700001501792856003701807 2016 eng d00a{O}bservation of {P}rethermalization in {L}ong-{R}ange {I}nteracting {S}pin {C}hains0 aO bservation of P rethermalization in L ong R ange I nteracting c2016/08/023 aStatistical mechanics can predict thermal equilibrium states for most classical systems, but for an isolated quantum system there is no general understanding on how equilibrium states dynamically emerge from the microscopic Hamiltonian. For instance, quantum systems that are near-integrable usually fail to thermalize in an experimentally realistic time scale and, instead, relax to quasi-stationary prethermal states that can be described by statistical mechanics when approximately conserved quantities are appropriately included in a generalized Gibbs ensemble (GGE). Here we experimentally study the relaxation dynamics of a chain of up to 22 spins evolving under a long-range transverse field Ising Hamiltonian following a sudden quench. For sufficiently long-ranged interactions the system relaxes to a new type of prethermal state that retains a strong memory of the initial conditions. In this case, the prethermal state cannot be described by a GGE, but rather arises from an emergent double-well potential felt by the spin excitations. This result shows that prethermalization occurs in a significantly broader context than previously thought, and reveals new challenges for a generic understanding of the thermalization of quantum systems, particularly in the presence of long-range interactions.

1 aNeyenhuis, B.1 aSmith, J.1 aLee, A., C.1 aZhang, J.1 aRicherme, P.1 aHess, P., W.1 aGong, Z., -X.1 aGorshkov, Alexey, V.1 aMonroe, C. uhttps://arxiv.org/abs/1608.00681