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Emergence and Frustration of Magnetism with Variable-Range Interactions in a Quantum Simulator


Frustration, or the competition between interacting components of a network, is often responsible for the emergent complexity of many-body systems. For instance, frustrated magnetism is a hallmark of poorly understood systems such as quantum spin liquids, spin glasses, and spin ices, whose ground states can be massively degenerate and carry high degrees of quantum entanglement. Here, we engineer frustrated antiferromagnetic interactions between spins stored in a crystal of up to 16 trapped (171)Yb(+) atoms. We control the amount of frustration by continuously tuning the range of interaction and directly measure spin correlation functions and their coherent dynamics. This prototypical quantum simulation points the way toward a new probe of frustrated quantum magnetism and perhaps the design of new quantum materials.

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