Experimental and theoretical study of thermodynamic effects in a quantum annealer

Tadashi Kadowaki, Masayuki Ohzeki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum devices are affected by intrinsic and environmental noises. An in-depth characterization of noise effects is essential for exploiting noisy quantum computing. To this end, we studied the energy dissipative behavior of a quantum annealer via experiments and numerical simulations. Our investigation adopts a recently proposed technique that interpolates between pure quantum dynamics and pure thermodynamics. Experiments were conducted on a quantum annealer with an anneal pause function, which inserts a thermal relaxation period into the annealing schedule by pausing the transverse field, which is a source of quantum fluctuation. After investigating the special Hamiltonian that characterizes the quantum thermodynamics of the system, we then observed enhancement of thermodynamic signature depending on the anneal pause parameter. The time development of the state vector, observed in the open quantum simulation, provides rich information for investigating phenomena beyond energy-gap analysis. We identified a special eigenstate bridges ground states far-separated in Hilbert space and the transfer probabilities from one ground state to another. This finding can improve the sampling uniformity by reducing the sampling bias in finding the classical ground states in the quantum annealer. Our study does not only characterize the open quantum phenomenon of the specific Hamiltonian but also demonstrates the usefulness of the method in investigating noisy quantum devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061008
JournalJournal of the Physical Society of Japan
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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