Observation of discrete time-crystalline order in a disordered dipolar many-body system

Soonwon Choi, Joonhee Choi, Renate Landig, Georg Kucsko, Hengyun Zhou, Junichi Isoya, Fedor Jelezko, Shinobu Onoda, Hitoshi Sumiya, Vedika Khemani, Curt Von Keyserlingk, Norman Y. Yao, Eugene Demler, Mikhail D. Lukin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

393 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding quantum dynamics away from equilibrium is an outstanding challenge in the modern physical sciences. Out-of-equilibrium systems can display a rich variety of phenomena, including self-organized synchronization and dynamical phase transitions. More recently, advances in the controlled manipulation of isolated many-body systems have enabled detailed studies of non-equilibrium phases in strongly interacting quantum matter; for example, the interplay between periodic driving, disorder and strong interactions has been predicted to result in exotic 'time-crystalline' phases, in which a system exhibits temporal correlations at integer multiples of the fundamental driving period, breaking the discrete time-translational symmetry of the underlying drive. Here we report the experimental observation of such discrete time-crystalline order in a driven, disordered ensemble of about one million dipolar spin impurities in diamond at room temperature. We observe long-lived temporal correlations, experimentally identify the phase boundary and find that the temporal order is protected by strong interactions. This order is remarkably stable to perturbations, even in the presence of slow thermalization. Our work opens the door to exploring dynamical phases of matter and controlling interacting, disordered many-body systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume543
Issue number7644
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Phase transitions and critical phenomena
  • Quantum simulation
  • Quantum information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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