Thermalization dynamics of a gauge theory on a quantum simulator


Gauge theories form the foundation of modern physics, with applications ranging from elementary particle physics and early-universe cosmology to condensed matter systems. We perform quantum simulations of the unitary dynamics of a $U(1)$ symmetric gauge field theory and demonstrate emergent irreversible behavior. The highly constrained gauge theory dynamics is encoded in a one-dimensional Bose–Hubbard simulator, which couples fermionic matter fields through dynamical gauge fields. We investigate global quantum quenches and the equilibration to a steady state well approximated by a thermal ensemble. Our work may enable the investigation of elusive phenomena, such as Schwinger pair production and string-breaking, and paves the way for simulating more complex higher-dimensional gauge theories on quantum synthetic matter devices.

Science 377, 311-314
Published 14 July 2022
Jad C. Halimeh
Postdoc (2019 – 2021)
Now Senior Postdoc at LMU München
© Alessio Coser