Quantum computation and quantum-state engineering driven by dissipation


The strongest adversary in quantum information science is decoherence, which arises owing to the coupling of a system with its environment1. The induced dissipation tends to destroy and wash out the interesting quantum effects that give rise to the power of quantum computation2, cryptography2 and simulation3. Whereas such a statement is true for many forms of dissipation, we show here that dissipation can also have exactly the opposite effect: it can be a fully fledged resource for universal quantum computation without any coherent dynamics needed to complement it. The coupling to the environment drives the system to a steady state where the outcome of the computation is encoded. In a similar vein, we show that dissipation can be used to engineer a large variety of strongly correlated states in steady state, including all stabilizer codes, matrix product states4, and their generalization to higher dimensions5.

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Figure 1: Schematic representation of the set-up.


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We thank D. Perez-Garcia for discussions and acknowledge financial support by the EU projects QUEVADIS, SCALA, the FWF, QUANTOP, FNU, SFB FoQuS, the DFG, Forschungsgruppe 635, the Munich Center for Advanced Photonics (MAP) and Caixa Manresa.

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All authors have contributed equally to this paper.

Correspondence to Frank Verstraete or J. Ignacio Cirac.

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Verstraete, F., Wolf, M. & Ignacio Cirac, J. Quantum computation and quantum-state engineering driven by dissipation. Nature Phys 5, 633–636 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys1342

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