Dissipative Landau-Zener problem and thermally assisted quantum annealing

  1. Luca Arceci,
  2. Simone Barbarino,
  3. Rosario Fazio,
  4. and Giuseppe E. Santoro
We revisit the issue of thermally assisted quantum annealing by a detailed study of the dissipative Landau-Zener problem in presence of a Caldeira-Leggett bath of harmonic oscillators, using both a weak-coupling quantum master equation and a quasi-adiabatic path-integral approach. Building on the known zero-temperature exact results (Wubs et al., PRL 97, 200404 (2006)), we show that a finite temperature bath can have a beneficial effect on the ground-state probability only if it couples also to a spin-direction that is transverse with respect to the driving field, while no improvement is obtained for the more commonly studied purely longitudinal coupling. In particular, we also highlight that, for a transverse coupling, raising the bath temperature further improves the ground-state probability in the fast-driving regime. We discuss the relevance of these findings for the current quantum-annealing flux qubit chips.

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