A quantum phase transition in a quantum external field: Superposing two magnetic phases

Author(s): M. M. Rams, M. Zwolak, B. Damski

Journal: Scientific Reports

Volume: 2

Page(s): 655

Year: 2012

DOI Number: 10.1038/srep00655

Link: Link to publication


We study an Ising chain undergoing a quantum phase transition in a quantum magnetic field. Such a field can be emulated by coupling the chain to a central spin initially in a superposition state. We show that – by adiabatically driving such a system – one can prepare a quantum superposition of any two ground states of the Ising chain. In particular, one can end up with the Ising chain in a superposition of ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases – a scenario with no analogue in prior studies of quantum phase transitions. Remarkably, the resulting magnetization of the chain encodes the position of the critical point and universal critical exponents, as well as the ground state fidelity.

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