Quantum simulating topological phases
Quantum simulators promise to study intricate quantum phases of matter. Of those, topological phases are among the most interesting, not the least for their potential applications in quantum computing, but also from the perspective of condensed matter physics. So far, intrinsic topological order has been excessively difficult to realize intrinsically topologically ordered systems beyond the toric code in the laboratory – in fact, a blueprint has been missing. The article of Jens Eisert (Freie Universität Berlin) and colleagues devises a blueprint for quantum simulating intrinsically topologically ordered quantum systems using plausible physical primitives. The key new twist from a conceptual perspective is that these highly intricate models are constructed based on tensor network ideas as a design principle. Only using such tools, the design of the required interactions seems within reach. The effort seems at the heart of PASQuanS, as it suggests a new use of programmable quantum simulators to study phases of matter.
Reference: C. Wille, R. Egger, J. Eisert, A. Altland, Simulating topological tensor networks with Majorana qubits, Phys. Rev. B 99, 115117 (2019).