Probing many-body dynamics on a 51-atom quantum simulator. (arXiv:1707.04344v1 [quant-ph])

Controllable, coherent many-body systems provide unique insights into
fundamental properties of quantum matter, allow for the realization of novel
quantum phases, and may ultimately lead to computational systems that are
exponentially superior to existing classical approaches. Here, we demonstrate a
novel platform for the creation of controlled many-body quantum matter. Our
approach makes use of deterministically prepared, reconfigurable arrays of
individually controlled, cold atoms. Strong, coherent interactions are enabled
by coupling to atomic Rydberg states. We realize a programmable Ising-type
quantum spin model with tunable interactions and system sizes of up to 51
qubits. Within this model we observe transitions into ordered states (Rydberg
crystals) that break various discrete symmetries, verify high-fidelity
preparation of ordered states, and investigate dynamics across the phase
transition in large arrays of atoms. In particular, we observe a novel type of
robust many-body dynamics corresponding to persistent oscillations of
crystalline order after a sudden quantum quench. These observations enable new
approaches for exploring many-body phenomena and open the door for realizations
of novel quantum algorithms.

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