Rydberg Atom Arrays with Programmable Openness
Abstract: Individually controlled neutral atoms are quickly emerging as a leading platform for quantum science. Qubits with long coherence times can be encoded in spin states or, in the case of alkaline earth (-like) species, optical transitions involving a long-lived metastable state. Entangling operations are performed via interactions mediated by highly excited Rydberg states. However, several emerging directions in quantum science require the ability to precisely and programmably couple a subset of the system to the environment without decohering the remainder. For instance, quantum error correction requires measurement of stabilizers, and remote entanglement generation for quantum networking and distributed computing requires Bell state measurements of photons entangled with atoms. More fundamentally, “programmable openness” in quantum circuits may provide us with new insights on decoherence in many-body systems, as evidenced by the nascent notion of measurement-induced phase transitions.
We seek to add fast “mid-circuit measurements” and remote entanglement generation to the toolbox of programmable Rydberg atom arrays by leveraging the rich atomic structure of alkaline earth (-like) atoms. By encoding qubits in the nuclear spin-1/2 degree of freedom in the long-lived metastable state of ytterbium-171, we enable the ability to 1) perform “read enable” operations at will, and 2) perform remote entanglement generation over long fiber links by utilizing a strong optical transition in the telecommunications wavelength band. We will describe our progress in these directions and others based on two ytterbium-171 systems at UIUC where one features an optical cavity. We believe that this work will add “programmable openness” to the rapidly advancing Rydberg atom array platform, thereby unlocking a host of new directions.
Bio: Jake completed his PhD in 2017 under the guidance of Jun Ye and the late Deborah Jin at JILA and the University of Colorado-Boulder, working on ultracold polar molecules in optical lattices. He was award the Springer Thesis Award for this work. He was then a Richard Chace Tolman Postdoctoral Scholar at Caltech under the guidance of Manuel Endres, where he co-developed a platform for controlling alkaline earth atoms in optical tweezer arrays. He used this platform to create the “atom array optical clock” as a novel approach to precision metrology and to realize Rydberg-based entanglement of individual alkaline earth atoms for the first time, with a fidelity exceeding 0.99 that still holds the record for neutral atoms. He joined the faculty in the Department of Physics at UIUC in Fall 2020 and is leading two experiments with ytterbium-171 atom arrays for novel quantum science directions. He is a recipient of the 2022 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program and the 2023 Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program.