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Many-body physics with individually controlled Rydberg atoms


Recent decades have witnessed great developments in the field of quantum simulation—where synthetic systems are built and studied to gain insight into complicated, many-body real-world problems. Systems of individually controlled neutral atoms, interacting with each other when excited to Rydberg states, have emerged as a promising platform for this task, particularly for the simulation of spin systems. Here, we review the techniques necessary for the manipulation of neutral atoms for the purpose of quantum simulation—such as quantum gas microscopes and arrays of optical tweezers—and explain how the different types of interactions between Rydberg atoms allow a natural mapping onto various quantum spin models. We discuss recent achievements in the study of quantum many-body physics in this platform, and some current research directions beyond that.

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Fig. 1: Experimental platforms for realizing arrays of individually controlled neutral atoms.
Fig. 2: Quantum quench experiments for the Ising model.
Fig. 3: Quasi-adiabatic sweeps experiments for the Ising model.
Fig. 4: Quantum simulation of the XY model.


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We thank the members of our group at Institut d’Optique, as well as all our colleagues of the Rydberg community, and in particular M. Lukin, M. Saffman, G. Biederman, C. Gross and I. Bloch, for many inspiring discussions over the years. This work benefited from financial support by the EU (FET-Flag 817482, PASQUANS), by ‘Investissements d’Avenir’ LabEx PALM (ANR-10-LABX-0039-PALM, projects QUANTICA and XYLOS), and by the Région Île-de-France in the framework of DIM SIRTEQ (project CARAQUES).

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Browaeys, A., Lahaye, T. Many-body physics with individually controlled Rydberg atoms. Nat. Phys. 16, 132–142 (2020).

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