Good approximate quantum LDPC codes from spacetime circuit Hamiltonians
Proceedings of the 51st Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing - STOC 2019
We study approximate quantum low-density parity-check (QLDPC) codes, which are approximate quantum error-correcting codes specified as the ground space of a frustration-free local Hamiltonian, whose terms do not necessarily commute. Such codes generalize stabilizer QLDPC codes, which are exact quantum error-correcting codes with sparse, low-weight stabilizer generators (i.e. each stabilizer generator acts on a few qubits, and each qubit participates in a few stabilizer generators). Our
... tion is motivated by an important question in Hamiltonian complexity and quantum coding theory: do stabilizer QLDPC codes with constant rate, linear distance, and constant-weight stabilizers exist? We show that obtaining such optimal scaling of parameters (modulo polylogarithmic corrections) is possible if we go beyond stabilizer codes: we prove the existence of a family of [[N , k, d, ε]] approximate QLDPC codes that encode k = Ω(N ) logical qubits into N physical qubits with distance d = Ω(N ) and approximation infidelity ε = 1/polylog(N ). The code space is stabilized by a set of 10-local noncommuting projectors, with each physical qubit only participating in polylog N projectors. We prove the existence of an efficient encoding map and show that the spectral gap of the code Hamiltonian scales as Ω(N −3.09 ). We also show that arbitrary Pauli errors can be locally detected by circuits of polylogarithmic depth. Our family of approximate QLDPC codes is based on applying a recent connection between circuit Hamiltonians and approximate quantum codes (Nirkhe, et al., ICALP 2018) to a result showing that random Clifford circuits of polylogarithmic depth yield asymptotically good quantum codes (Brown and Fawzi, ISIT 2013). Then, in order to obtain a code with sparse checks and strong detection of local errors, we use a spacetime circuit-to-Hamiltonian construction in order to take advantage of the parallelism of the Brown-Fawzi circuits. Because of this, we call our codes spacetime codes.