12.18.19 -- Quantum Simulation Review Article posted to the arXiv

Ion trap quantum simulation is now nearly 10 years old, and the field has grown tremendously in the past decade. Together with colleagues from Univ. of Maryland, UCLA, Tsinghua Univ., Colorado School of Mines, Middlebury College, Univ. of Waterloo, Rice Univ., and UC Berkeley, we have posted a comprehensive review article on ion trap quantum simulation. We recount experiments from the very early days -- involving quantum phase transitions with just 2 ions -- all the way to more recent work on nonequilibrium quantum dynamics with up to 53 spins. The article is available here, or on the arXiv: 1912.07845.

06.21.19 -- First Ions!

  The lab hit a big milestone today with the detection of our first trapped ions. Images show the confinement of one, two, and a chain Ytterbium ions in a linear rf trap. The ions are cooled to approximately 500 microKelvin and are separated by ~10 micron.

05.21.19 -- Marissa D'Onofrio Talk at DAMOP

  Marissa will be speaking at DAMOP 2019, on "A Trapped Ion Quantum Simulator for Two-Dimensional Spin Systems." (Abstract here). The talk is in session C05, Tuesday May 28, 10:30am-12:30pm, in room 102C. If you're at DAMOP, go say hello!

05.31.18 -- Michelle Lollie, local celebrity

  Our own Michelle Lollie has recently been featured in a news article published in Nature, along with an associated podcast, about the APS Bridge Program. The links include some nice quotes, a video interview, as well as some action shots from in the lab. Well done, Michelle!

02.12.18 -- Cryogenic Ion Trapping paper on the arXiv

  Large-scale trapped ion quantum simulation will require very low vacuum pressures to minimize the collision rate between ions and background gases. One way to achieve low pressures is to build an ion trap inside a cryogenic environment, which can reduce the collision rates by several orders of magnitude. At Maryland I designed a cryogenic ion trap to accomplish this goal, and it has now been made operational due to the efforts of the Maryland team. The picture to the left shows ~120 Yb+ ions trapped in a linear chain; the link to the full paper is here: "Cryogenic Trapped-Ion System for Large Scale Quantum Simulation"

08.29.17 -- New paper published in Science Advances

  In nature, it is rare to find examples of systems that *fail* to thermalize. Typically, this requires some hidden symmetry or conserved quantity of motion (as in a harmonic oscillator). In this paper, we have observed a quantum system that fails to thermalize, even though there are no conserved quantities. The system becomes trapped in a "prethermal" state due to an emergent double-well potential felt by the spin excitations. Thermalization can only happen after exceptionally long times, which grow even longer as the size of the system is increased. Read the full paper: "Observation of Prethermalization in Long-Range Interacting Spin Chains".

01.18.17 -- How to Create a Time Crystal

  Time crystals, which break time-translational symmetry in the same way that ordinary crystals break spatial-translational symmetry, have been a hot topic of debate in the literature in the past few years. Recently, a theoretical proposal has shown how one could be created in the lab, inspiring two experimental demonstrations. Read the full story here.

09.20.16 -- 2D Paper Published in PRA

A manuscript proposing the use of "2D ion crystals in radiofrequency traps for quantum simulation" has now been published in PRA PRA 94, 032320 (2016). This work lays the theoretical foundation for the experiment that will be built over the next year or two in the lab.

07.12.16 -- New paper on the arXiv

Ion trap quantum simulators have successfully implemented Ising and XY spin models, but Heisenberg models have remained elusive. In collaboration with Alejandro Bermudez, Luca Tagliacozzo, and German Sierra, we propose a way to achieve this long-sought capability using currently available technology: "Long-range Heisenberg models in quasi-periodically driven crystals of trapped ions," arXiv: 1607.03337.

05.18.16 -- New paper on the arXiv

A manuscript proposing the investigation of "String order via Floquet interactions in atomic systems" has now been posted on the arXiv: 1605.05738. This work, in collaboration with Tony Lee and Yogesh Joglekar, shows how non-local correlations, known as string order, can arise in periodically driven trapped ion systems.

03.16.16 -- Let there be (369.5 nm) light

  The new 369 nm laser system was successfully installed this morning, providing an impressive 1 WATT of beautiful blue light. The system starts with 10 W of 532 nm light pumping a Ti:Saph crystal, outputting a 739 nm beam which is then frequency doubled. Thanks, M-Squared!

02.01.16 -- Optics Tables Installed

Just a few days after construction was completed, the optics tables have been moved in and installed. Three tables form a large "U" work area, with two 4' x 12' tables and one 4' x 10'. See pictures...

01.27.16 -- Construction Complete!

  After 7 months of construction, an empty room is now capable of hosting an atomic physics laboratory. Upgraded electrical power, dedicated air handling for improved temperature stability, new counters and cabinetry, new lighting, and a large equipment support platform will be sure to make the ions happy.


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Bloomington, IN

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