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Yifan Hong, Jinkang Guo, Andrew Lucas (Mar 19 2024).

Abstract: Passive error correction protects logical information forever (in the thermodynamic limit) by updating the system based only on local information and few-body interactions. A paradigmatic example is the classical two-dimensional Ising model: a Metropolis-style Gibbs sampler retains the sign of the initial magnetization (a logical bit) for thermodynamically long times in the low-temperature phase. Known models of passive quantum error correction similarly exhibit thermodynamic phase transitions to a low-temperature phase wherein logical qubits are protected by thermally stable topological order. Here, in contrast, we show that constant-rate classical and quantum low-density parity check codes have no $\textit{thermodynamic}$ phase transitions at nonzero temperature, but nonetheless exhibit $\textit{ergodicity-breaking}$ dynamical transitions: below a critical nonzero temperature, the mixing time of local Gibbs sampling diverges in the thermodynamic limit. We conjecture that the circuit complexity of preparing extensive-energy states may diverge without crossing any thermodynamic transition. Fault-tolerant passive decoders, inspired by Gibbs samplers, may be amenable to measurement-free quantum error correction and may present a desirable experimental alternative to conventional quantum error correction based on syndrome measurements and active feedback.

Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.10599