Continuous Symmetry Breaking in a Trapped-Ion Spin Chain

TitleContinuous Symmetry Breaking in a Trapped-Ion Spin Chain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsFeng, L, Katz, O, Haack, C, Maghrebi, M, Gorshkov, AV, Gong, Z, Cetina, M, Monroe, C
Date Published11/2/2022
KeywordsFOS: Physical sciences, Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas), Quantum Physics (quant-ph), Statistical Mechanics (cond-mat.stat-mech), Strongly Correlated Electrons (cond-mat.str-el)

One-dimensional systems exhibiting a continuous symmetry can host quantum phases of matter with true long-range order only in the presence of sufficiently long-range interactions. In most physical systems, however, the interactions are short-ranged, hindering the emergence of such phases in one dimension. Here we use a one-dimensional trapped-ion quantum simulator to prepare states with long-range spin order that extends over the system size of up to 23 spins and is characteristic of the continuous symmetry-breaking phase of matter. Our preparation relies on simultaneous control over an array of tightly focused individual-addressing laser beams, generating long-range spin-spin interactions. We also observe a disordered phase with frustrated correlations. We further study the phases at different ranges of interaction and the out-of-equilibrium response to symmetry-breaking perturbations. This work opens an avenue to study new quantum phases and out-of-equilibrium dynamics in low-dimensional systems.