Verification of a Many-Ion Simulator of the Dicke Model Through Slow Quenches across a Phase Transition
Arghavan Safavi-Naini, R. J. Lewis-Swan, Justin G. Bohnet, M. Garttner, Kevin A. Gilmore, Judith Elena Jordan, J. Cohn, James K. Freericks, Ana M. Rey, John J. Bollinger
We use a self-assembled two-dimensional Coulomb crystal of ∼70 ions in the presence of an external transverse field to engineer a simulator of the Dicke Hamiltonian, an iconic model in quantum optics which features a quantum phase transition between a superradiant (ferromagnetic) and a normal (paramagnetic) phase. We experimentally implement slow quenches across the quantum critical point and benchmark the dynamics and the performance of the simulator through extensive theory-experiment comparisons which show excellent agreement. The implementation of the Dicke model in fully controllable trapped ion arrays can open a path for the generation of highly entangled states useful for enhanced metrology and the observation of scrambling and quantum chaos in a many-body system.