Verification of the Quantum Jarzynski Equality on Digital Quantum Computers
The quantum Jarzynski equality and the Crooks relation are fundamental laws connecting equilibrium processes with nonequilibrium fluctuations. While they are well established theoretically and also experimental realizations for simple few-body systems already exist, a verification in the quantum many-body regime is still missing. Here, we present results for nonequilibrium protocols in systems with up to sixteen interacting degrees of freedom obtained on trapped ion and superconducting qubit quantum computers, which verify the quantum Jarzynski equality and the Crooks relation in the many-body regime. To achieve this, we overcome present-day limitations in the preparation of thermal ensembles and in the measurement of work distributions on noisy intermediate-scale quantum devices. We discuss the accuracy to which the Jarzynski equality holds on different quantum computing platforms subject to platform-specific errors. Our analysis reveals a novel dissipative nonequilibrium regime, where a fast unitary drive compensates for dissipation and restores the validity of Jarzynski’s equality.