Research ArticlePHYSICS

Breaking the quantum adiabatic speed limit by jumping along geodesics

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Science Advances  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaax3800
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax3800


Quantum adiabatic evolutions find a broad range of applications in quantum physics and quantum technologies. The traditional form of the quantum adiabatic theorem limits the speed of adiabatic evolution by the minimum energy gaps of the system Hamiltonian. Here, we experimentally show using a nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond that, even in the presence of vanishing energy gaps, quantum adiabatic evolution is possible. This verifies a recently derived necessary and sufficient quantum adiabatic theorem and offers paths to overcome the conventionally assumed constraints on adiabatic methods. By fast modulation of dynamic phases, we demonstrate near–unit-fidelity quantum adiabatic processes in finite times. These results challenge traditional views and provide deeper understanding on quantum adiabatic processes, as well as promising strategies for the control of quantum systems.

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