Sharp Phase Transitions in a Small Frustrated Network of Trapped Ion Spins

G.-D. Lin, C. Monroe, L.-M. Duan
2011 Physical Review Letters  
Sharp quantum phase transitions typically require a large system with many particles. Here we show that for a frustrated fully-connected Ising spin network represented by trapped atomic ions, the competition between different spin orders leads to rich phase transitions whose sharpness scales exponentially with the number of spins. This unusual finite-size scaling behavior opens up the possibility of observing sharp quantum phase transitions in a system of just a few trapped ion spins.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.106.230402 pmid:21770485 fatcat:3sqxtmqy2vdelbhr2ibumf3o2e