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Long-Range Multibody Interactions and Three-Body Antiblockade in a Trapped Rydberg Ion Chain

Gambetta, Filippo M.; Zhang, Chi; Hennrich, Markus; Lesanovsky, Igor; Li, Weibin


Filippo M. Gambetta

Chi Zhang

Markus Hennrich

Associate Professor


Trapped Rydberg ions represent a flexible platform for quantum simulation and information processing which combines a high degree of control over electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom. The possibility to individually excite ions to high-lying Rydberg levels provides a system where strong and long-range interactions between pairs of excited ions can be engineered and tuned via external laser fields. We show that the coupling between Rydberg pair interactions and collective motional modes gives rise to effective long-range multi-body interactions, consisting of two, three, and four-body terms. Their shape, strength, and range can be controlled via the ion trap parameters and strongly depends on both the equilibrium configuration and vibrational modes of the ion crystal. By focusing on an experimentally feasible quasi one-dimensional setup of 88 Sr + Rydberg ions, we demonstrate that multi-body interactions are enhanced by the emergence of a soft mode associated, e.g., with a structural phase transition. This has a striking impact on many-body electronic states and results, for example, in a three-body anti-blockade effect. Our study shows that trapped Rydberg ions offer new opportunities to study exotic many-body quantum dynamics driven by enhanced multi-body interactions. Introduction.-The coupling between internal atomic states and collective vibrational modes is the hallmark of trapped ion setups. The possibility to engineer phonon-mediated two-body interactions, which can be tuned via laser fields and trapping parameters, combined with single-ion control and high fidelity state preparation, makes them a powerful platform for quantum simulation and information processing [1-14]. A further enhancement of this setup can be achieved in trapped Rydberg ions, where each ion can be individually excited to a high-lying Rydberg level [15-23]. The strong dipole-dipole interactions characterizing this system can be exploited to simulate equilibrium and non-equilibrium quantum many-body spin models [24-26] and for quantum information processing beyond the scalability limitations of conventional ion settings [27-29]. Furthermore, the interplay between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom allows to devise non-classical motional states and sets the stage for the study of complex quantum phenomena arising from electron-phonon coupling [30].


Gambetta, F. M., Zhang, C., Hennrich, M., Lesanovsky, I., & Li, W. (2020). Long-Range Multibody Interactions and Three-Body Antiblockade in a Trapped Rydberg Ion Chain. Physical Review Letters, 125(13),

Journal Article Type Letter
Acceptance Date Aug 27, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 22, 2020
Publication Date Sep 25, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 22, 2020
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 125
Issue 13
Keywords General Physics and Astronomy
Public URL


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