"Analogue" Hamiltonian simulation involves engineering a Hamiltonian of
interest in the laboratory and studying its properties experimentally.
Large-scale Hamiltonian simulation experiments have been carried out in
optical lattices, ion traps and other systems for two decades. Despite
this, the theoretical basis for Hamiltonian simulation is surprisingly
sparse. Even a precise definition of what it means to simulate a
Hamiltonian was lacking.
AdS/CFT duality postulates that quantum gravity in a d-dimensional
anti-de-Sitter bulk space is equivalent to a strongly interacting field
theory on its d-1 dimensional boundary. Recently, connections between
AdS/CFT duality and quantum error-correcting codes have led (amongst
other things) to tensor network toy models that capture important aspects
of this holographic duality. However, these toy models struggle to
encompass dualities between bulk and boundary energy scales and dynamics.
On the face of it, these two topics seem to have nothing whatsoever to do
with one another.
In my talk, I will explain how we put analogue Hamiltonian simulation on
a rigorous theoretical footing, by drawing on techniques from Hamiltonian
complexity theory and Jordan algebras. I will show how this proved far
more fruitful than a mere mathematical tidying-up exercise, leading to
the discovery of universal quantum Hamiltonians [Science, 351:6 278,
p.1180, 2016], [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 115:38 p.9497, 2018]. And I will
explain how this new Hamiltonian simulation formalism, together with
hyperbolic Coxeter groups, allowed us to extend the toy models of AdS/CFT
to encompass energy scales, dynamics, and even (toy models of) black hole
formation [arXiv:1810.08992].