Unitary circuits subject to repeated projective measurements can undergo an entanglement phase transition (EPT) as a function of the measurement rate. This transition is generally understood in terms of a competition between the scrambling effects of unitary dynamics and the disentangling effects of measurements. We find that, surprisingly, EPTs are possible even in the absence of scrambling unitary dynamics, where they are best understood as arising from measurements alone. This motivates us to introduce \emph{measurement-only models}, in which the "scrambling" and "un-scrambling" effects driving the EPT are fundamentally intertwined and cannot be attributed to physically distinct processes. This represents a novel form of an EPT, conceptually distinct from that in hybrid unitary-projective circuits. We explore the entanglement phase diagrams, critical points, and quantum code properties of some of these measurement-only models. We find that the principle driving the EPTs in these models is \emph{frustration}, or mutual incompatibility, of the measurements. Suprisingly, an entangling (volume-law) phase is the generic outcome when measuring sufficiently long but still local (≳3-body) operators. We identify a class of exceptions to this behavior ("bipartite ensembles") which cannot sustain an entangling phase, but display dual area-law phases, possibly with different kinds of quantum order, separated by self-dual critical points. Finally, we introduce a measure of information spreading in dynamics with measurements and use it to demonstrate the emergence of a statistical light-cone, despite the non-locality inherent to quantum measurements.

VL - 11 UR - https://arxiv.org/abs/2004.09560 CP - 1 J1 - Phys. Rev. X U5 - 10.1103/PhysRevX.11.011030 ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Dynamical Purification Phase Transition Induced by Quantum Measurements JF - Physical Review X Y1 - 2020 A1 - Michael Gullans A1 - Huse, David A. AB -Continuously monitoring the environment of a quantum many-body system reduces the entropy of (purifies) the reduced density matrix of the system, conditional on the outcomes of the measurements. We show that, for mixed initial states, a balanced competition between measurements and entangling interactions within the system can result in a dynamical purification phase transition between (i) a phase that locally purifies at a constant system-size-independent rate, and (ii) a "mixed" phase where the purification time diverges exponentially in the system size. The residual entropy density in the mixed phase implies the existence of a quantum error-protected subspace where quantum information is reliably encoded against the future non-unitary evolution of the system. We show that these codes are of potential relevance to fault-tolerant quantum computation as they are often highly degenerate and satisfy optimal tradeoffs between encoded information densities and error thresholds. In spatially local models in 1+1 dimensions, this phase transition for mixed initial states occurs concurrently with a recently identified class of entanglement phase transitions for pure initial states. The mutual information of an initially completely-mixed state in 1+1 dimensions grows sublinearly in time due to the formation of the error protected subspace. The purification transition studied here also generalizes to systems with long-range interactions, where conventional notions of entanglement transitions have to be reformulated. Purification dynamics is likely a more robust probe of the transition in experiments, where imperfections generically reduce entanglement and drive the system towards mixed states. We describe the motivations for studying this novel class of non-equilibrium quantum dynamics in the context of advanced quantum computing platforms and fault-tolerant quantum computation.

VL - 10 UR - https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.05195 CP - 4 J1 - Phys. Rev. X U5 - 10.1103/PhysRevX.10.041020 ER -