Research ArticleCONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS

Initialization of quantum simulators by sympathetic cooling

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Science Advances  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 10, eaaw9268
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw9268

Abstract

Simulating computationally intractable many-body problems on a quantum simulator holds great potential to deliver insights into physical, chemical, and biological systems. While the implementation of Hamiltonian dynamics within a quantum simulator has already been demonstrated in many experiments, the problem of initialization of quantum simulators to a suitable quantum state has hitherto remained mostly unsolved. Here, we show that already a single dissipatively driven auxiliary particle can efficiently prepare the quantum simulator in a low-energy state of largely arbitrary Hamiltonians. We demonstrate the scalability of our approach and show that it is robust against unwanted sources of decoherence. While our initialization protocol is largely independent of the physical realization of the simulation device, we provide an implementation example for a trapped ion quantum simulator.

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