Adiabatic quantum computation in open systems

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Dec 16;95(25):250503. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.250503. Epub 2005 Dec 16.


We analyze the performance of adiabatic quantum computation (AQC) subject to decoherence. To this end, we introduce an inherently open-systems approach, based on a recent generalization of the adiabatic approximation. In contrast to closed systems, we show that a system may initially be in an adiabatic regime, but then undergo a transition to a regime where adiabaticity breaks down. As a consequence, the success of AQC depends sensitively on the competition between various pertinent rates, giving rise to optimality criteria.