Free-fermionic systems are a valuable, but limited, class of many-body problems efficiently simulable on a classical computer. We examine how classical simulability of noninteracting fermions is modified in the presence of Markovian dissipation described by quadratic Lindblad operators, including, for example, incoherent transitions or pair losses. On the one hand, we establish three broad classes of Markovian dynamics that are efficiently simulable classically, by devising efficient algorithms. On the other hand, we demonstrate that, in the worst case, simulating Markovian dynamics with quadratic Lindblad operators is at least as hard as simulating universal quantum circuits. This result is applicable to an experimentally relevant setting in cold atomic systems, where magnetic Feshbach resonances can be used to engineer the desired dissipation. For such systems, our hardness result provides a direct scheme for dissipation-assisted quantum computing with a potential significant advantage in the speed of two-qubit gates and, therefore, in error tolerance.

UR - https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.10840 ER -