Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Topological Quantum Computation - An Analysis of an Anyon Model Based on Quantum Double Symmetries

Ville Lahtinen

Master's thesis, May 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences, Division of Theoretical Physics.

There exists various suggestions for building a functional and a fault-tolerant large-scale quantum computer. Topological quantum computation is a more exotic suggestion, which makes use of the properties of quasiparticles manifest only in certain two-dimensional systems. These so called anyons exhibit topological degrees of freedom, which, in principle, can be used to execute quantum computation with intrinsic fault-tolerance. This feature is the main incentive to study topological quantum computation. The objective of this thesis is to provide an accessible introduction to the theory.

In this thesis one has considered the theory of anyons arising in two-dimensional quantum mechanical systems, which are described by gauge theories based on so called quantum double symmetries. The quasiparticles are shown to exhibit interactions and carry quantum numbers, which are both of topological nature. Particularly, it is found that the addition of the quantum numbers is not unique, but that the fusion of the quasiparticles is described by a non-trivial fusion algebra. It is discussed how this property can be used to encode quantum information in a manner which is intrinsically protected from decoherence and how one could, in principle, perform quantum computation by braiding the quasiparticles.

As an example of the presented general discussion, the particle spectrum and the fusion algebra of an anyon model based on the gauge group S_3 are explicitly derived. The fusion algebra is found to branch into multiple proper subalgebras and the simplest one of them is chosen as a model for an illustrative demonstration. The different steps of a topological quantum computation are outlined and the computational power of the model is assessed. It turns out that the chosen model is not universal for quantum computation. However, because the objective was a demonstration of the theory with explicit calculations, none of the other more complicated fusion subalgebras were considered. Studying their applicability for quantum computation could be a topic of further research.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 19.07.2006

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