Conformal field theories are magical

TitleConformal field theories are magical
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsWhite, CDavid, Cao, CJ, Swingle, B
JournalPhysical Review B
Date Published2/25/2021

"Magic" is the degree to which a state cannot be approximated by Clifford gates. We study mana, a measure of magic, in the ground state of the Z3 Potts model, and argue that it is a broadly useful diagnostic for many-body physics. In particular we find that the q=3 ground state has large mana at the model's critical point, and that this mana resides in the system's correlations. We explain the form of the mana by a simple tensor-counting calculation based on a MERA representation of the state. Because mana is present at all length scales, we conclude that the conformal field theory describing the 3-state Potts model critical point is magical. These results control the difficulty of preparing the Potts ground state on an error-corrected quantum computer, and constrain tensor network models of AdS-CFT.