IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar

Friday December 2, 2016 3:00 PM

Local Hamiltonians Whose Ground States are Hard to Approximate

Speaker: Aram Harrow, MIT
Location: East Bridge 114

Abstract: Note the special time: this talk begins at 3:00 pm

Ground states of local Hamiltonians can be generally highly entangled: any quantum circuit that generates them (even approximately) must be sufficiently deep to allow coupling (entanglement) between any pair of qubits. Until now this property was not known to be "robust" - the marginals of such states to a subset of the qubits containing all but a small constant fraction of them may be only locally entangled, and hence approximable by shallow quantum circuits. In this work we construct a family of 16-local Hamiltonians for which any 1-10^{-9} fraction of qubits of any ground state must be highly entangled. 

This provides evidence that quantum entanglement is not very fragile, and perhaps our intuition about its instability is an artifact of considering local Hamiltonians which are not only local but spatially local. Formally, this result is weaker than both the qLDPC conjecture, positing the existence of "good" quantum LDPC codes, and the NLTS conjecture due to Freedman and Hastings positing the existence of local Hamiltonians in which any low-energy state is highly entangled. 

Our Hamiltonian is based on applying the hypergraph product by Tillich and Zemor to a classical locally testable code. A key tool in our proof is a new lower bound on the vertex expansion of the output of low-depth quantum circuits, which may be of independent interest.

Based on 1510.02082 which is joint work with Lior Eldar.


Series IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar Series

Contact: Marcia Brown at 626-395-4013