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Ruochen Ma, Alex Turzillo (Mar 21 2024).

Abstract: The interplay of symmetry and topology in quantum many-body mixed states has recently garnered significant interest. In a phenomenon not seen in pure states, mixed states can exhibit average symmetries – symmetries that act on component states while leaving the ensemble invariant. In this work, we systematically characterize symmetry protected topological (SPT) phases of short-range entangled (SRE) mixed states of spin systems – protected by both average and exact symmetries – by studying their pure Choi states in a doubled Hilbert space, where the familiar notions and tools for SRE and SPT pure states apply. This advantage of the doubled space comes with a price: extra symmetries as well as subtleties around how hermiticity and positivity of the original density matrix constrain the possible SPT invariants. Nevertheless, the doubled space perspective allows us to obtain a systematic classification of mixed-state SPT (MSPT) phases. We also investigate the robustness of MSPT invariants under symmetric finite-depth quantum channels, the bulk-boundary correspondence for MSPT phases, and the consequences of the MSPT invariants for the separability of mixed states and the symmetry-protected sign problem. In addition to MSPT phases, we study the patterns of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) of mixed states, including the phenomenon of exact-to-average SSB, and the order parameters that detect them. Mixed state SSB is related to an ingappability constraint on symmetric Lindbladian dynamics.

Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.13280