Universal Digital Quantum Simulation with Trapped Ions

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Science  01 Sep 2011:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208001


A digital quantum simulator is an envisioned quantum device that can be programmed to efficiently simulate any other local system. We demonstrate and investigate the digital approach to quantum simulation in a system of trapped ions. Using sequences of up to 100 gates and 6 qubits, the full-time dynamics of a range of spin systems are digitally simulated. Interactions beyond those naturally present in our simulator are accurately reproduced, and quantitative bounds are provided for the overall simulation quality. Our results demonstrate the key principles of digital quantum simulation and provide evidence that the level of control required for a full-scale device is within reach.