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Confinement-Higgs transition in a disordered gauge theory and the accuracy threshold for quantum memory

Wang, Chenyang and Harrington, Jim and Preskill, John (2003) Confinement-Higgs transition in a disordered gauge theory and the accuracy threshold for quantum memory. Annals of Physics, 303 (1). pp. 31-58. ISSN 0003-4916.

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We study the ±J random-plaquette Z_2 gauge model (RPGM) in three spatial dimensions, a three-dimensional analog of the two-dimensional ±J random-bond Ising model (RBIM). The model is a pure Z_2 gauge theory in which randomly chosen plaquettes (occurring with concentration p) have couplings with the “wrong sign” so that magnetic flux is energetically favored on these plaquettes. Excitations of the model are one-dimensional “flux tubes” that terminate at “magnetic monopoles” located inside lattice cubes that contain an odd number of wrong-sign plaquettes. Electric confinement can be driven by thermal fluctuations of the flux tubes, by the quenched background of magnetic monopoles, or by a combination of the two. Like the RBIM, the RPGM has enhanced symmetry along a “Nishimori line” in the p–T plane (where T is the temperature). The critical concentration p_c of wrong-sign plaquettes at the confinement-Higgs phase transition along the Nishimori line can be identified with the accuracy threshold for robust storage of quantum information using topological error-correcting codes: if qubit phase errors, qubit bit-flip errors, and errors in the measurement of local check operators all occur at rates below p_c, then encoded quantum information can be protected perfectly from damage in the limit of a large code block. Through Monte-Carlo simulations, we measure p_(c0), the critical concentration along the T=0 axis (a lower bound on p_c), finding p_(c0)=.0293±.0002. We also measure the critical concentration of antiferromagnetic bonds in the two-dimensional RBIM on the T=0 axis, finding p_(c0)=.1031±.0001. Our value of p_(c0) is incompatible with the value of p_c=.1093±.0002 found in earlier numerical studies of the RBIM, in disagreement with the conjecture that the phase boundary of the RBIM is vertical (parallel to the T axis) below the Nishimori line. The model can be generalized to a rank-r antisymmetric tensor field in d dimensions, in the presence of quenched disorder.

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Additional Information:© 2002 Elsevier Science. Received 18 July 2002; Available online 8 January 2003. We gratefully acknowledge helpful discussions and correspondence with John Chalker, Tom Gottschalk, Alexei Kitaev, Hidetsugu Kitatani, Andreas Ludwig, Paul McFadden, Hidetoshi Nishimori, and Frank Porter. We particularly thank Andrew Landahl, Nathan Wozny, and Zhaosheng Bao for valuable advice and assistance. This work has been supported in part by the Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG03-92-ER40701, by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EIA-0086038, by the Caltech MURI Center for Quantum Networks under ARO Grant No. DAAD19-00-1-0374, and by Caltech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.
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Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG03-92-ER40701
Army Research Office (ARO)DAAD19-00-1-0374
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111017-135406894
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Official Citation:Chenyang Wang, Jim Harrington, John Preskill, Confinement-Higgs transition in a disordered gauge theory and the accuracy threshold for quantum memory, Annals of Physics, Volume 303, Issue 1, January 2003, Pages 31-58, ISSN 0003-4916, 10.1016/S0003-4916(02)00019-2.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27258
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Oct 2011 17:56
Last Modified:23 Aug 2016 10:06

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