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Statistical effects in anyonic quantum walks

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posted on 2022-03-28, 01:14 authored by Lauri Lehman
"Anyonic quantum statistics is an exotic phenomenon of identical particles in quantum mechanics. When particles are confined in two spatial dimensions, exchanges of identical particles can induce phase factors in the wave function of Abelian anyons or matrix valued transformations of the wave function of non-Abelian anyons. As a result, systems of anyons may have richer properties than those of bosons and fermions in three spatial dimensions. There is strong theoretical support for the existence of anyons in some engineered two-dimensional systems such as 2D electron gases, strongly correlated spin lattices and as edge modes of nanowires. In the future, anyons could be used in topological quantum computation to perform highly efficient information processing with very small error rates. The phases of matter described by dynamically interacting anyons have recently been studied in chains where anyons interact via Heisenberg-type exchange interactions. In this thesis, new kind of anyonic interactions are studied, induced purely by braiding during free evolution. Such interactions are of topological origin, and the information about the interactions is stored non-locally. A quantum walk model is used to study the effects of these braiding interactions on the dynamical behaviour of anyons. The anyonic quantum walk is a quasi-one-dimensional generalization of the discrete-time quantum walk which allows the simulation of anyonic dynamics analytically. The moving anyon and a chain of stationary anyons interact via braiding statistics, and the behaviour of the anyon is studied in three cases. Striking differences are found between particles with conventional boson or fermion statistics and non-Abelian anyonic statistics. The random walk is a dynamical model that describes the motion of a particle on a lattice. In physics, it is used to describe Brownian motion of fluids and gases. In such systems, energy transport is diffusive, and the order of the system approaches a highly mixed state without any information content. The quantum version of the random walk, the quantum walk, has nonintuitive properties. Generally, the information content in a unitarily evolving system is fixed, which leads to unexpected transport phenomena. An initially localized particle does not propagate diffusively, but escapes the starting point with ballistic speed. Most of our results for non-Abelian anyons use the Ising model anyon which is most likely to be measured in experiments. First, when each anyonic site is occupied by one Ising anyon, the propagation of the anyon becomes diffusive. More precisely, the variance of the spatial probability distribution of the particle depends linearly on the number of time steps. This is in stark contrast to bosons, fermions and Abelian anyons which propagate ballistically, and the variance depends linearly on the square of the number of time steps. The essential reason for this slowdown is that the non-Abelian anyons possess an extra degree of freedom called the fusion Hilbert space. This space can be viewed as an environment for the normal degrees of freedom of the particle, inducing decoherence in the quantum walk. This thesis opens the line for studies of this novel kind of decoherence mechanism in quantum walks. In the second case the study is extended to more general anyon models by losing some of the information about the history of the evolution. In this case the system is subject to decoherence, and the total system evolution is not unitary. The behaviour of the particle in this model is found to be diffusive for all the non-Abelian anyon models studied, while Abelian anyons behave ballistically also in this model. One peculiarity of quantum systems is their behaviour under disorder. Quantum mechanical particles moving in random local potentials are known to freeze and not move at all. Such a phenomenon is known as Anderson localization. Studies have shown that Anderson localization happens also in quantum walks with random spatial fluctuations in the coin parameters. In the third case, the transport properties of anyons are studied under topological randomness, allowing the occupations of anyons change between experiments. Bosons and fermions would propagate ballistically under such randomness, and Abelian anyons are shown to localize. The results show that non-Abelian anyons behave diffusively at short time scales, and it is argued that they do so in the long time limit as well. In all cases, non-Abelian anyons are shown to have very different dynamical properties than bosons, fermions and Abelian anyons. A possible simulation of the anyonic quantum walk in Fractional Quantum Hall systems is also discussed.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Anyonic quantum walk -- 3. Ising anyons -- 4. Anyonic U² quantum walk -- 5. Disordered walks -- 6. Conclusion.


A thesis submitted to Macquarie University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Physics and Astronomy June 2013 Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Gavin Brennen


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Lauri Lehman 2013.




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