Georgetown team's work on world's most powerful quantum simulator appears in Nature
A Georgetown team led by Prof. James Freericks, postdoctoral fellow Joseph Wang, and undergraduate REU student Adam Keith (NC State) provided theory and computational work to help understand a quantum simulator built at NIST in Boulder, CO, that approaches having the memory of one Googol bits (10100 bits). The work was published in the April 26, 2012 issue of Nature, one of the most prestigious general science journals. The simulator is made from a tiny crystal, less than one millimeter in size, made out of Be ions held in a Penning trap (see image of individual ions in the trap to left). Each Be ion has a net electronic spin that can be coupled to other spins by shining appropriate lasers and microwaves onto the crystal. The Georgetown team determined these couplings quantitatively, which were then measured in the experiment, in full agreement with the theory. Future work needs to make the interactions stronger, and add new ones, so that the computer can be used as an adiabatic quantum simulator, which can create unique new states of matter like a spin liquid. For further information, please see the University news story. Nature also has a News and Views discussion, as does Nature Physics.
Press articles on the research:
(1) Fox.com; (2) A to Z of Nanotechnology; (3) Phys.org; (4) NIST press release; (5) softpedia; (6) shafaqna; (7) Sci guru; (8) Drudge retort; (9) Supercomputing online; (10) youtube from University of Sydney; (11) abc.net.au; and quantum pontif.