Recurrence and Pólya number of quantum walks

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Jan 18;100(2):020501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.020501. Epub 2008 Jan 14.


We analyze the recurrence probability (Pólya number) for d-dimensional unbiased quantum walks. A sufficient condition for a quantum walk to be recurrent is derived. As a by-product we find a simple criterion for localization of quantum walks. In contrast with classical walks, where the Pólya number is characteristic for the given dimension, the recurrence probability of a quantum walk depends in general on the topology of the walk, choice of the coin and the initial state. This allows us to change the character of the quantum walk from recurrent to transient by altering the initial state.