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Title: Digital quantum simulation of Floquet symmetry-protected topological phases
Abstract Quantum many-body systems away from equilibrium host a rich variety of exotic phenomena that are forbidden by equilibrium thermodynamics. A prominent example is that of discrete time crystals 1–8 , in which time-translational symmetry is spontaneously broken in periodically driven systems. Pioneering experiments have observed signatures of time crystalline phases with trapped ions 9,10 , solid-state spin systems 11–15 , ultracold atoms 16,17 and superconducting qubits 18–20 . Here we report the observation of a distinct type of non-equilibrium state of matter, Floquet symmetry-protected topological phases, which are implemented through digital quantum simulation with an array of programmable superconducting qubits. We observe robust long-lived temporal correlations and subharmonic temporal response for the edge spins over up to 40 driving cycles using a circuit of depth exceeding 240 and acting on 26 qubits. We demonstrate that the subharmonic response is independent of the initial state, and experimentally map out a phase boundary between the Floquet symmetry-protected topological and thermal phases. Our results establish a versatile digital simulation approach to exploring exotic non-equilibrium phases of matter with current noisy intermediate-scale quantum processors 21 .  more » « less
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Page Range / eLocation ID:
468 to 473
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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