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  1. Abstract Neural network quantum states provide a novel representation of the many-body states of interacting quantum systems and open up a promising route to solve frustrated quantum spin models that evade other numerical approaches. Yet its capacity to describe complex magnetic orders with large unit cells has not been demonstrated, and its performance in a rugged energy landscape has been questioned. Here we apply restricted Boltzmann machines (RBMs) and stochastic gradient descent to seek the ground states of a compass spin model on the honeycomb lattice, which unifies the Kitaev model, Ising model and the quantum 120° model with a single tuning parameter. We report calculation results on the variational energy, order parameters and correlation functions. The phase diagram obtained is in good agreement with the predictions of tensor network ansatz, demonstrating the capacity of RBMs in learning the ground states of frustrated quantum spin Hamiltonians. The limitations of the calculation are discussed. A few strategies are outlined to address some of the challenges in machine learning frustrated quantum magnets.
  2. Abstract

    Chiral and helical Majorana fermions are two archetypal edge excitations in two-dimensional topological superconductors. They emerge from systems of different Altland–Zirnbauer symmetries and characterized byZandZ2topological invariants respectively. It seems improbable to tune a pair of co-propagating chiral edge modes to counter-propagate in a single system without symmetry breaking. Here, we explore the peculiar behaviors of Majorana edge modes in topological superconductors with an additional ‘mirror’ symmetry which changes the bulk topological invariant toZZtype. A theoretical toy model describing the proximity structure of a Chern insulator and apx-wave superconductor is proposed and solved analytically to illustrate a direct transition between two topologically nontrivial phases. The weak pairing phase has two chiral Majorana edge modes, while the strong pairing phase is characterized by mirror-graded Chern number and hosts a pair of counter-propagating Majorana fermions protected by the mirror symmetry. The edge theory is worked out in detail, and implications to braiding of Majorana fermions are discussed.