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Publication# Quantum Monte Carlo approach to the non-equilibrium steady state of open quantum systems

Abstract

Many-body open quantum systems are exposed to an essentially uncontrollable environment that acts as a source of decoherence and dissipation. As the exact treatment of such models is generally unfeasible, it is favourable to formulate an approximate description by means of the dynamics of the reduced density operator of the system. When studying models with a weak coupling to a memoryless environment, the existence of such solution is granted and the reduced dynamics is governed by the Lindblad quantum master equation. In recent years, open quantum systems have evolved into a major field of studies. Focus of these studies are the characterization of emergent phenomena and dissipative phase transitions, as well as the ongoing debate about whether quantum computing schemes are still hard to simulate classically --- and thus achieve quantum supremacy --- when in presence of some degree of noise-induced decoherence. However, the challenge posed by this task lies in the complexity of the density matrix that increases exponentially with the system size, and the quest for efficient numerical methods is a research field that is still in its infancy. Here, we first develop a real-time full configuration interaction quantum Monte Carlo technique that stems from a class of methods generally known as projector Monte Carlo. The approach enables the stochastic sampling of the Lindblad time evolution of the density matrix thanks to a massively parallel algorithm, thus providing estimates of observables on the non-equilibrium steady state. We present the underlying theory and introduce an initiator technique and importance sampling to reduce statistical error. We demonstrate the efficiency of the approach by applying it to the dissipative two-dimensional XYZ spin-1/2 model on a lattice. As the importance sampling of projector approaches is often combined with variational results, we then introduce a novel method that is based on the variational Monte Carlo methods and on a neural network representation of the density matrix. Thanks to the stochastic reconfiguration scheme, the application of the variational principle is translated into the actual integration of the Lindblad quantum master equation. We test the effectiveness of the method by modeling the steady state of the dissipative two-dimensional XYZ spin-1/2 model through a dissipative phase transition, and also the real-time dynamics of the dissipative Ising model. In addition, we discuss the application of the developed methods and the open questions of the field.

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Related concepts

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Related concepts (24)

Density matrix

In quantum mechanics, a density matrix (or density operator) is a matrix that describes the quantum state of a physical system. It allows for the calculation of the probabilities of the outcomes of a

Open quantum system

In physics, an open quantum system is a quantum-mechanical system that interacts with an external quantum system, which is known as the environment or a bath. In general, these interactions significan

Variational principle

In science and especially in mathematical studies, a variational principle is one that enables a problem to be solved using calculus of variations, which concerns finding functions that optimize the

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Hugo Pierre Alexandre Flayac, Eduardo Carlo Mascarenhas Moraes, Vincenzo Savona

We develop a numerical procedure to efficiently model the nonequilibrium steady state of one-dimensional arrays of open quantum systems based on a matrix-product operator ansatz for the density matrix. The procedure searches for the null eigenvalue of the Liouvillian superoperator by sweeping along the system while carrying out a partial diagonalization of the single-site stationary problem. It bears full analogy to the density-matrix renormalization-group approach to the ground state of isolated systems, and its numerical complexity scales as a power law with the bond dimension. The method brings considerable advantage when compared to the integration of the time-dependent problem via Trotter decomposition, as it can address arbitrarily long-ranged couplings. Additionally, it ensures numerical stability in the case of weakly dissipative systems thanks to a slow tuning of the dissipation rates along the sweeps. We have tested the method on a driven-dissipative spin chain, under various assumptions for the Hamiltonian, drive, and dissipation parameters, and compared the results to those obtained both by Trotter dynamics and Monte Carlo wave function methods. Accurate and numerically stable convergence was always achieved when applying the method to systems with a gapped Liouvillian and a nondegenerate steady state.

Alexandra Nagy, Vincenzo Savona

The possibility to simulate the properties of many-body open quantum systems with a large number of degrees of freedom (d.o.f.) is the premise to the solution of several outstanding problems in quantum science and quantum information. The challenge posed by this task lies in the complexity of the density matrix increasing exponentially with the system size. Here, we develop a variational method to efficiently simulate the nonequilibrium steady state of Markovian open quantum systems based on variational Monte Carlo methods and on a neural network representation of the density matrix. Thanks to the stochastic reconfiguration scheme, the application of the variational principle is translated into the actual integration of the quantum master equation. We test the effectiveness of the method by modeling the two-dimensional dissipative XYZ spin model on a lattice.

Nathan Ramusat, Vincenzo Savona

Simulating the dynamics and the non-equilibrium steady state of an open quantum system are hard computational tasks on conventional computers. For the simulation of the time evolution, several efficient quantum algorithms have recently been developed. However, computing the non-equilibrium steady state as the long-time limit of the system dynamics is often not a viable solution, because of exceedingly long transient features or strong quantum correlations in the dynamics. Here, we develop an efficient quantum algorithm for the direct estimation of averaged expectation values of observables on the non-equilibrium steady state, thus bypassing the time integration of the master equation. The algorithm encodes the vectorized representation of the density matrix on a quantum register, and makes use of quantum phase estimation to approximate the eigenvector associated to the zero eigenvalue of the generator of the system dynamics. We show that the output state of the algorithm allows to estimate expectation values of observables on the steady state. Away from critical points, where the Liouvillian gap scales as a power law of the system size, the quantum algorithm performs with exponential advantage compared to exact diagonalization.