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  1. (3+1)D topological phases of matter can host a broad class of non-trivial topological defects of codimension-1, 2, and 3, of which the well-known point charges and flux loops are special cases. The complete algebraic structure of these defects defines a higher category, and can be viewed as an emergent higher symmetry. This plays a crucial role both in the classification of phases of matter and the possible fault-tolerant logical operations in topological quantum error-correcting codes. In this paper, we study several examples of such higher codimension defects from distinct perspectives. We mainly study a class of invertible codimension-2 topological defects, which we refer to as twist strings. We provide a number of general constructions for twist strings, in terms of gauging lower dimensional invertible phases, layer constructions, and condensation defects. We study some special examples in the context of \mathbb{Z}_2 ℤ 2 gauge theory with fermionic charges, in \mathbb{Z}_2 \times \mathbb{Z}_2 ℤ 2 × ℤ 2 gauge theory with bosonic charges, and also in non-Abelian discrete gauge theories based on dihedral ( D_n D n ) and alternating ( A_6 A 6 ) groups. The intersection between twist strings and Abelian flux loops sources Abelian point charges, which defines an H^4 H 4 cohomology class that characterizes part of an underlying 3-group symmetry of the topological order. The equations involving background gauge fields for the 3-group symmetry have been explicitly written down for various cases. We also study examples of twist strings interacting with non-Abelian flux loops (defining part of a non-invertible higher symmetry), examples of non-invertible codimension-2 defects, and examples of the interplay of codimension-2 defects with codimension-1 defects. We also find an example of geometric, not fully topological, twist strings in (3+1)D A_6 A 6 gauge theory. 
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  4. A basic question in the theory of fault-tolerant quantum computation is to understand the fundamental resource costs for performing a universal logical set of gates on encoded qubits to arbitrary accuracy. Here we consider qubits encoded with constant space overhead (i.e. finite encoding rate) in the limit of arbitrarily large code distance d through the use of topological codes associated to triangulations of hyperbolic surfaces. We introduce explicit protocols to demonstrate how Dehn twists of the hyperbolic surface can be implemented on the code through constant depth unitary circuits, without increasing the space overhead. The circuit for a given Dehn twist consists of a permutation of physical qubits, followed by a constant depth local unitary circuit, where locality here is defined with respect to a hyperbolic metric that defines the code. Applying our results to the hyperbolic Fibonacci Turaev-Viro code implies the possibility of applying universal logical gate sets on encoded qubits through constant depth unitary circuits and with constant space overhead. Our circuits are inherently protected from errors as they map local operators to local operators while changing the size of their support by at most a constant factor; in the presence of noisy syndrome measurements, our results suggest the possibility of universal fault tolerant quantum computation with constant space overhead and time overhead of O ( d / log ⁡ d ) . For quantum circuits that allow parallel gate operations, this yields the optimal scaling of space-time overhead known to date. 
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