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A Rydberg quantum simulator


A universal quantum simulator is a controlled quantum device that reproduces the dynamics of any other many-particle quantum system with short-range interactions. This dynamics can refer to both coherent Hamiltonian and dissipative open-system evolution. Here we propose that laser-excited Rydberg atoms in large-spacing optical or magnetic lattices provide an efficient implementation of a universal quantum simulator for spin models involving n-body interactions, including such of higher order. This would allow the simulation of Hamiltonians of exotic spin models involving n-particle constraints, such as the Kitaev toric code, colour code and lattice gauge theories with spin-liquid phases. In addition, our approach provides the ingredients for dissipative preparation of entangled states based on engineering n-particle reservoir couplings. The basic building blocks of our architecture are efficient and high-fidelity n-qubit entangling gates using auxiliary Rydberg atoms, including a possible dissipative time step through optical pumping. This enables mimicking the time evolution of the system by a sequence of fast, parallel and high-fidelity n-particle coherent and dissipative Rydberg gates.

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Figure 1: Set-up of the system.
Figure 2: Cooling of the toric code.
Figure 3: Single time step.
Figure 4: Lattice gauge theory.


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This work was supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through SFB/TRR 21.

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All five authors contributed equally to all parts of this work.

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Correspondence to Hendrik Weimer.

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Weimer, H., Müller, M., Lesanovsky, I. et al. A Rydberg quantum simulator. Nature Phys 6, 382–388 (2010).

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