Quasiparticle engineering and entanglement propagation in a quantum many-body system


The key to explaining and controlling a range of quantum phenom-ena is to study how information propagates around many-body sys-tems. Quantum dynamics can be described by particle-like carriers ofinformation that emerge in the collective behaviour of the underlyingsystem, the so-called quasiparticles1. These elementary excitationsare predicted to distribute quantum information in a fashion deter-mined by the system’s interactions2. Here we report quasiparticledynamics observed in a quantum many-body system of trapped atomicions3,4. First, we observe the entanglement distributed by quasiparticlesas they trace out light-cone-like wavefronts5–11. Second, using theability to tune the interaction range in our system, we observe informa-tion propagation in an experimental regime where the effective-light-cone picture does not apply7,12. Our results will enable experimentalstudies of a range of quantum phenomena, including transport13,14, thermalization15, localization16 and entanglement growth17, and represent a first step towards a new quantum-optic regime of engineeredquasiparticles with tunable nonlinear interactions.

Nature 511, 202–205
Published 9 July 2014