Many-body-localized discrete time crystal with a programmable spin-based quantum simulator

J. Randall, C. E. Bradley, F. V. van der Gronden, A. Galicia, M. H. Abobeih, M. Markham, D. J. Twitchen, F. Machado, N. Y. Yao, T. H. Taminiau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The discrete time crystal (DTC) is a nonequilibrium phase of matter that spontaneously breaks timetranslation symmetry. Disorder-induced many-body localization can stabilize the DTC phase by breaking ergodicity and preventing thermalization. Here, we observe the hallmark signatures of the manybody- localized DTC using a quantum simulation platform based on individually controllable carbon-13 nuclear spins in diamond. We demonstrate long-lived period-doubled oscillations and confirm that they are robust for generic initial states, thus showing the characteristic time-crystalline order across the many-body spectrum. Our results are consistent with the realization of an out-of-equilibrium Floquet phase of matter and introduce a programmable quantum simulator based on solid-state spins for exploring many-body physics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1474-1478
Issue number6574
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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