Theory of Quantum Annealing of an Ising Spin Glass

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Science  29 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5564, pp. 2427-2430
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068774

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Probing the lowest energy configuration of a complex system by quantum annealing was recently found to be more effective than its classical, thermal counterpart. By comparing classical and quantum Monte Carlo annealing protocols on the two-dimensional random Ising model (a prototype spin glass), we confirm the superiority of quantum annealing relative to classical annealing. We also propose a theory of quantum annealing based on a cascade of Landau-Zener tunneling events. For both classical and quantum annealing, the residual energy after annealing is inversely proportional to a power of the logarithm of the annealing time, but the quantum case has a larger power that makes it faster.

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