Variational quantum simulation with two-dimensional ion crystals
As an ESQ Postdoc I have joined the Quantum Optics and Spectroscopy group in Innsbruck and am working on the development of a genuine quantum simulator featuring two-dimensional ion crystals. So far, trapped-ion quantum simulators are based on linear Paul traps, where roughly 50 ions can be trapped to simulate a 1D spin chain with Ising-type interactions. The goal is to extend this approach to the second dimension in order to increase the number of ions to > 100, and to simulate exotic phenomena such as spin frustration in 2D. To this end, a novel segmented Paul trap in a monolithic design with a large optical access for engineered laser-induced 2D spin-spin interactions will be constructed.
Following the construction, I focus on variational quantum simulation, a comparable new approach, which relies on feedback loops between quantum and classical hardware to allow for the simulation of physical models beyond those associated with the particular analog quantum simulator. The implementation of this approach on a 2D simulator will enable the exploration of fascinating physical phenomena, e.g. lattice gauge theories or spin physics in 2D.