To advance, they must play, and win. Although the board and pieces are much larger than normal, and the circumstances a bit peculiar, one thing remains clear to them—this is a game of chess, with the same rules as always. Just as Rowling created a fantastical chessboard for her heroes, scientists too can change the size and shape of the board and pieces: if the game plays out by the same rules, there is no fundamental difference. This approach is the basis of quantum simulation. To gain insight into inaccessible phenomena, researchers simulate elusive quantum systems with laboratory controllable ones that share the same mathematical form as the original physical system. Recently, a JQI group used this technique to simulate the motion of a free electron, known as zitterbewegung, by assembling an analogue system of neutral atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate.
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