Our quantum experiment consists of a chain of 171Yb+ ions with individual Raman beam addressing and individual readout. This fully connected system can be configured to run any sequence of single- and two-qubit gates, making it in effect an arbitrarily programmable digital quantum computer. The high degree of control can be used for digital, but also for analog and hybrid quantum simulations. We also add a classical optimization layer to our quantum stack to realize variational optimization methods.
We recently used these capabilities to take the first measurement at finite temperature of out-of-time-ordered correlators, which are powerful tools to probe quantum information scrambling in quantum many-body systems . We also present results from the digital simulation of the real-time dynamics of a lattice gauge theory in 1+1 dimensions, i.e., the lattice Schwinger model, and demonstrate effects such as pair creation for times much longer than previously accessible . We also show the first realization of para-particle dynamics using an analog simulation involving both spin and motional degrees of freedom of a trapped ion . These exotic particles are not found in nature, but their dynamics have been used to study dark matter and excitations in solids, and our technique is a promising tool for other quantum many-body models. Finally, work towards using multiple modes of motion to scale the architecture will be discussed .
Prof. Norbert M. Linke is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the Duke Quantum Center (DQC), Duke University, North Carolina, USA, working on quantum applications of trapped ions, including quantum computing. Born in Munich, Germany, he graduated from the University of Ulm, and received his doctorate at the University of Oxford, UK, working on micro-fabricated ion-traps and microwave-addressing of ions. He spent four years as a post-doc and research scientist in the group of Chris Monroe at the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute where he led a project that turned a physics experiment into a programmable quantum computer. He became an assistant professor at UMD in 2019 and transferred to the DQC in 2022.