Quantum simulation of complex materials is a key application of near-term quantum computers, based on programming quantum circuits to directly emulate the time evolution of materials of interest. However, the accurate simulation of continuous time evolution using digital (gate-based) quantum circuits can be challenging using current hardware. Chen et al. show how digital quantum circuits can be naturally used to simulate periodically-driven Floquet systems, requiring fewer gates compared to static systems. Using a single nitrogen vacancy center-based qubit, the authors simulate Floquet topological phases and implement a quantum quench protocol to measure their topological invariants. This approach may be used to investigate other classes of non-equilibrium topological phases using digital quantum circuits.
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