Towards analog quantum simulations of lattice gauge theories with trapped ions

TitleTowards analog quantum simulations of lattice gauge theories with trapped ions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDavoudi, Z, Hafezi, M, Monroe, C, Pagano, G, Seif, A, Shaw, A
JournalPhysical Review Research
Date Published4/8/2020

Gauge field theories play a central role in modern physics and are at the heart of the Standard Model of elementary particles and interactions. Despite significant progress in applying classical computational techniques to simulate gauge theories, it has remained a challenging task to compute the real-time dynamics of systems described by gauge theories. An exciting possibility that has been explored in recent years is the use of highly-controlled quantum systems to simulate, in an analog fashion, properties of a target system whose dynamics are difficult to compute. Engineered atom-laser interactions in a linear crystal of trapped ions offer a wide range of possibilities for quantum simulations of complex physical systems. Here, we devise practical proposals for analog simulation of simple lattice gauge theories whose dynamics can be mapped onto spin-spin interactions in any dimension. These include 1+1D quantum electrodynamics, 2+1D Abelian Chern-Simons theory coupled to fermions, and 2+1D pure Z2 gauge theory. The scheme proposed, along with the optimization protocol applied, will have applications beyond the examples presented in this work, and will enable scalable analog quantum simulation of Heisenberg spin models in any number of dimensions and with arbitrary interaction strengths.