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Dissecting topological quantum computation

By James Robin Wootton


Anyons are quasiparticles that may be realized in two dimensional systems. They come in two types, the simpler Abelian anyons and the more complex non-Abelian anyons. Both of these have been considered as a means for quantum computation, but non-Abelian anyons are usually assumed to be better suited to the task. Here we challenge this view, demonstrating that Abelian anyon models have as much\ud potential as some simple non-Abelian models.\ud \ud First the means to perform quantum computation with Abelian anyon models is considered. These models, like many non-Abelian models, cannot realize universal quantum computation by braiding alone. Non-topological operations must be used in addition, whose complexity depends on the physical means by which the anyons are realized. Here we consider anyons based on spin lattice models, with single spin measurements playing the role of non-topological operations. The computational power achieved by various kinds of measurement is explored and the requirements\ud for universality are determined. The possibility to simulate non-Abelian anyons using Abelian ones is then considered. Finally, a non-Abelian quantum memory is\ud dissected in order to determine the means by which it provides fault-tolerant storage of information. This understanding is then employed to build equivalent quantum\ud memories with Abelian anyon models. The methodology provides with the means to demonstrate that Abelian models have the capability to simulate non-Abelian anyons, and to realize the same computational power and fault-tolerance as non Abelian models.\ud \ud Apart from the intellectual interest in relating topological models with each other, and of understanding the properties of non-Abelian anyons in terms of the\ud simpler Abelian ones, these results can also be applied in the lab. The simpler structure of Abelian anyons means that their physical realization is more straightforward.\ud The demonstration of non-Abelian properties with Abelian models therefore allows features of non-Abelian anyons to be realized with present and near future technology.\ud Based on this possibility, proposals are made here for proof of principle experiments

Publisher: School of Physics and Astronomy (Leeds)
Year: 2010
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