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Using thermal boundary conditions to engineer the quantum state of a bulk magnet

Schmidt, M. A. and Silevitch, D. M. and Aeppli, G. and Rosenbaum, T. F. (2014) Using thermal boundary conditions to engineer the quantum state of a bulk magnet. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (10). pp. 3689-3694. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3956170. doi:10.1073/pnas.1316070111.

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The degree of contact between a system and the external environment can alter dramatically its proclivity to quantum mechanical modes of relaxation. We show that controlling the thermal coupling of cubic-centimeter-sized crystals of the Ising magnet LiHo_xY_(1-x)F_4 to a heat bath can be used to tune the system between a glassy state dominated by thermal excitations over energy barriers and a state with the hallmarks of a quantum spin liquid. Application of a magnetic field transverse to the Ising axis introduces both random magnetic fields and quantum fluctuations, which can retard and speed the annealing process, respectively, thereby providing a mechanism for continuous tuning between the destination states. The nonlinear response of the system explicitly demonstrates quantum interference between internal and external relaxation pathways.

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Silevitch, D. M.0000-0002-6347-3513
Additional Information:Copyright © 2014 National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Laura H. Greene, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL, and approved February 3, 2014 (received for review August 26, 2013). Published ahead of print February 24, 2014. G.A. is grateful to N. Chancellor for discussions. The work at The University of Chicago was supported by Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Grant DE-FG02-99ER45789 and in London via the COMPASSS programme grant funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Author contributions: M.A.S., D.M.S., G.A., and T.F.R. designed research; M.A.S. and D.M.S. performed research; M.A.S., D.M.S., and T.F.R. analyzed data; and M.A.S., D.M.S., G.A., and T.F.R. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-99ER45789
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:quantum magnetism; random fields; quantum annealing; quantum information; adiabatic quantum computing
Issue or Number:10
PubMed Central ID:PMC3956170
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140707-131948192
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Official Citation:M. A. Schmidt, D. M. Silevitch, G. Aeppli, and T. F. Rosenbaum Using thermal boundary conditions to engineer the quantum state of a bulk magnet PNAS 2014 111 (10) 3689-3694; published ahead of print February 24, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1316070111
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46888
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Jul 2014 15:00
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:31

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