Exploring Quantum Field Theories with Qubit Lattice Models

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2020

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The framework of quantum field theory (QFT) underlies our modern understanding of both particle physics and condensed matter physics. Despite its importance, precise quantitative calculations in strongly-coupled theories in QFTs have generally only been possible through non-perturbative lattice Monte Carlo (MC) methods. Traditionally, such lattice MC methods proceed by starting from a lattice regularization of the continuum QFT of interest, which has the same (possibly infinite dimensional) local Hilbert space at each lattice site as the continuum QFT. In this thesis, we explore an alternative regularization where the local Hilbert space is also replaced by a smaller finite dimensional Hilbert space. Motivated by the appeal of such models for near-term quantum computers, we dub this approach qubit regularization. Using this approach, in this thesis, we present three main results. First, we develop a qubit-regularization for the O(N) nonlinear sigma model (NLSM) in D $\geq$ 3 spacetime dimensions. We show using numerical lattice calculations that the O(N ) qubit model lies in the correct universality class for N = 2, 4, 6, 8, and reproduces the universal physics of the O(N) Wilson-Fisher (WF) fixed point in D = 3 spacetime dimensions by computing some well-known critical exponents. Next, we explore sectors of large global charges of the O(N) WF conformal field theory (CFT) using the O(N) qubit model. This allows us to test the predictions of a recently proposed large-charge effective field theory (EFT) and extract the two leading low-energy constants (LECs) in the EFT. Performing computations for N = 2, 4, 6, 8, we are also able to quantitatively test predictions of a recent large-N analysis in the large-charge sectors. Finally, we show that our qubit approach can also be used to study the few-body physics of non-relativistic particles. In particular, we consider a system of two species of mass-imbalanced fermions in $1 + 1$ dimensions. We compute the ground state energies for a range of mass-imbalances and interaction strengths, and uncover some problems with recent results obtained from the Complex Langevin (CL) method for the same system.

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Singh, Hersh (2020). Exploring Quantum Field Theories with Qubit Lattice Models. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21489.

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