Extracting Wilson loop operators and fractional statistics from a single bulk ground state

TitleExtracting Wilson loop operators and fractional statistics from a single bulk ground state
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsCian, Z-P, Hafezi, M, Barkeshli, M
Date Published9/28/2022
KeywordsFOS: Physical sciences, Quantum Physics (quant-ph), Strongly Correlated Electrons (cond-mat.str-el)

An essential aspect of topological phases of matter is the existence of Wilson loop operators that keep the ground state subspace invariant. Here we present and implement an unbiased numerical optimization scheme to systematically find the Wilson loop operators given a single ground state wave function of a gapped Hamiltonian on a disk. We then show how these Wilson loop operators can be cut and glued through further optimization to give operators that can create, move, and annihilate anyon excitations. We subsequently use these operators to determine the braiding statistics and topological twists of the anyons, yielding a way to fully extract topological order from a single wave function. We apply our method to the ground state of the perturbed toric code and doubled semion models with a magnetic field that is up to a half of the critical value. From a contemporary perspective, this can be thought of as a machine learning approach to discover emergent 1-form symmetries of a ground state wave function. From an application perspective, our approach can be relevant to find Wilson loop operators in current quantum simulators.