Decoherence induced by coupling a system with an environment may display universal features. We demonstrate that when the coupling to the system drives a quantum phase transition in the environment, the decay of quantum coherences in the system is Gaussian with a width independent of the system-environment coupling strength. We obtain analytical results for a class of solvable models, and present numerical evidence supporting the validity of our results in more general cases. This effect opens the way for a quantum simulation algorithm, where a single qubit is used to detect a quantum phase transition. We discuss possible implementations of such an algorithm and relate our results to available data on universal decoherence in NMR echo experiments. © 2007 The American Physical Society.
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Mar 2007|