Quantum non-demolition measurement of a many-body Hamiltonian


Dayou Yang, Andrey Grankin, Lukas M. Sieberer, Denis V. Vasilyev, and Peter Zoller. 2020. “Quantum non-demolition measurement of a many-body Hamiltonian.” Nature Communications, 11, Pp. 775.


In an ideal quantum measurement, the wave function of a quantum system collapses to an eigenstate of the measured observable, and the corresponding eigenvalue determines the measurement outcome. If the observable commutes with the system Hamiltonian, repeated measurements yield the same result and thus minimally disturb the system. Seminal quantum optics experiments have achieved such quantum non-demolition (QND) measurements of systems with few degrees of freedom. In contrast, here we describe how the QND measurement of a complex many-body observable, the Hamiltonian of an interacting many-body system, can be implemented in a trapped-ion analog quantum simulator. Through a single-shot measurement, the many-body system is prepared in a narrow band of (highly excited) energy eigenstates, and potentially even a single eigenstate. Our QND scheme, which can be carried over to other platforms of quantum simulation, provides a framework to investigate experimentally fundamental aspects of equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical physics including the eigenstate thermalization hypothesis and quantum fluctuation relations.