Detecting topological order on a 2D lattice of quantum harmonic oscillators.

Date/Time: 17th September 2013 / 15:00-16:00 - ()

Speaker: Mr. Tommaso Demarie (Macquarie University)

The Kitaev surface-code model is the most studied example of a topologically ordered phase and typically involves four-spin interactions on a two-dimensional surface. A universal signature of this phase is topological entanglement entropy (TEE), but due to low signal to noise, it is extremely difficult to observe in these systems, and one usually resorts to measuring anyonic statistics of excitations or non-local string operators to reveal the order. We describe a continuous-variable analog to the surface code using quantum harmonic oscillators on a two-dimensional lattice, which has the distinctive property of needing only two-body nearest-neighbor interactions for its creation. Though such a model is gapless, the ground state can be simply prepared by measurements on a finitely squeezed and gapped two-dimensional cluster state, which does not have topological order. Asymptotically, the TEE grows linearly with the squeezing parameter, and we show that its mixed-state general ization, the topological mutual information, is robust to some forms of state preparation error and can be detected simply using single-mode quadrature measurements.