Stroboscopic aliasing in long-range interacting quantum systems

Shane P. Kelly, Eddy Timmermans, Jamir Marino, S.-W. Tsai

SciPost Phys. Core 4, 021 (2021) · published 10 September 2021


We unveil a mechanism for generating oscillations with arbitrary multiplets of the period of a given external drive, in long-range interacting quantum many-particle spin systems. These oscillations break discrete time translation symmetry as in time crystals, but they are understood via two intertwined stroboscopic effects similar to the aliasing resulting from video taping a single fast rotating helicopter blade. The first effect is similar to a single blade appearing as multiple blades due to a frame rate that is in resonance with the frequency of the helicopter blades' rotation; the second is akin to the optical appearance of the helicopter blades moving in reverse direction. Analogously to other dynamically stabilized states in interacting quantum many-body systems, this stroboscopic aliasing is robust to detuning and excursions from a chosen set of driving parameters, and it offers a novel route for engineering dynamical $n$-tuplets in long-range quantum simulators, with potential applications to spin squeezing generation and entangled state preparation.

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