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Non-local propagation of correlations in long-range interacting quantum systems



Phil Richerme, Zhexuan Gong, Aaron Lee, Crystal Senko, Jacob Smith, Michael S. Foss-Feig, Spyridon Michalakis, Alexey Gorshkov, Christopher Monroe


The maximum speed with which information can propagate in a quantum many-body system directly affects how quickly disparate parts of the system can become correlated and how difficult the system will be to describe numerically. For systems with only short-range interactions, Lieb and Robinson derived a constant-velocity bound that limits correlations to within a linear effective light cone. However, little is known about the propagation speed in systems with long-range interactions, since the best long-range bound is too loose to give the correct light-cone shape for any known spin model and since analytic solutions rarely exist. In this work, we experimentally determine the spatial and time-dependent correlations of a far-from-equilibrium quantum many-body system evolving under a long-range Ising- or XY-model Hamiltonian. For several different interaction ranges, we extract the shape of the light cone and measure the velocity with which correlations propagate through the system. In many cases we find increasing propagation velocities, which violate the Lieb-Robinson prediction, and in one instance cannot be explained by any existing theory. Our results demonstrate that even modestly-sized quantum simulators are well-poised for studying complicated many-body systems that are intractable to classical computation.


Lieb-Robinson bounds, long-range interactions, quantum spin models, ion chains


Richerme, P. , Gong, Z. , Lee, A. , Senko, C. , Smith, J. , Foss-Feig, M. , Michalakis, S. , Gorshkov, A. and Monroe, C. (2014), Non-local propagation of correlations in long-range interacting quantum systems, Nature, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created July 9, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021