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Publication . Article . 2020

Signatures of discrete time crystalline order in dissipative spin ensembles

James O'Sullivan; Oliver Lunt; Christoph W. Zollitsch; M. L. W. Thewalt; John J. L. Morton; Arijeet Pal;
Open Access
Published: 01 Aug 2020 Journal: New Journal of Physics, volume 22, page 85,001 (eissn: 1367-2630, Copyright policy )
Publisher: IOP Publishing

Abstract Discrete time-translational symmetry in a periodically driven many-body system can be spontaneously broken to form a discrete time crystal, an exotic new phase of matter. We present observations characteristic of discrete time crystalline order in a driven system of paramagnetic P-donor impurities in isotopically enriched 28Si cooled below 10 K. The observations exhibit a stable subharmonic peak at half the drive frequency which remains pinned even in the presence of pulse error, a signature of discrete time crystalline order. This signal has a finite lifetime of ∼100 Floquet periods, but this effect is long-lived relative to coherent spin–spin interaction timescales, lasting ∼104 times longer. We present simulations of the system based on the paradigmatic central spin model and show good agreement with experiment. We investigate the role of dissipation and interactions within this model, and show that both are capable of giving rise to discrete time crystal-like behaviour.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Physics Discrete time and continuous time Condensed matter physics Dissipative system Order (ring theory) Spin-½


General Physics and Astronomy

Funded by
Local quantum operations achieved through the motion of spins
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 771493
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-COG
Validated by funder
Correlated Non-Equilibrium Quantum Matter: Fundamentals and Applications to Nanoscale Systems
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 853368
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-STG
Validated by funder
UKRI| EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Delivering Quantum Technologies
  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Project Code: EP/L015242/1
  • Funding stream: EPSRC