A joint research group at Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown a way to simulate the quantum physical properties of complex solid state systems. This is done with the help of complex solid state systems that can be studied experimentally.
Feynman had proposed to use real systems of atoms with their quantum physical properties to simulate other quantum systems. These quantum systems can consist of atoms strung together like pearls in a string with special spin properties, but could also be ion traps, Rydberg atoms, superconducting Qbits or atoms in optical lattices. What they have in common is that they can be created and controlled in the laboratory. Their quantum physical properties could be used to predict the behavior of other quantum systems. But which quantum systems would be good candidates? Is there a way to find out in advance?
The team has now investigated this question using a combination of mathematical and numerical methods. In fact, the group showed that the so-called dynamic structure factor of such systems is a possible tool to make statements about other quantum systems. This factor indirectly maps how spins or other quantum quantities behave over time, it is calculated by a Fourier transformation. (Phys.org)
The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (and edited by Peter W. Shor himself!)