Quasiparticle engineering and entanglement propagation in a quantum many-body system

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Date: 
2016-06-07
Author(s): 

P. Jurcevic, B. P. Lanyon, P. Hauke, C. Hempel, P. Zoller, R. Blatt, C. F. Roos

Reference: 

Nature 511, 202 (2014)

The key to explaining and controlling a range of quantum phenomena is to study how information propagates around many-body systems. Quantum dynamics can be described by particle-like carriers of information that emerge in the collective behaviour of the underlying system, the so-called quasiparticles1. These elementary excitations are predicted to distribute quantum information in a fashion determined by the system’s interactions2. Here we report quasiparticle dynamics observed in a quantum many-body system of trapped atomic ions3, 4. First, we observe the entanglement distributed by quasiparticles as they trace out light-cone-like wavefronts5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Second, using the ability to tune the interaction range in our system, we observe information propagation in an experimental regime where the effective-light-cone picture does not apply7, 12. Our results will enable experimental studies of a range of quantum phenomena, including transport13, 14, thermalization15, localizationhttp://arXiv.org/abs/1311.7151 (2014)">16 and entanglement growth17, and represent a first step towards a new quantum-optic regime of engineered quasiparticles with tunable nonlinear interactions.