## Exponential suppression of decoherence and relaxation of quantum systems using energy penalty

One of the main methods for protecting quantum information against decoherence is to encode information in the ground subspace (or the low energy sector) of a Hamiltonian with a large energy gap which penalizes errors from environment. The protecting Hamiltonian is chosen such that its degenerate ground subspace is an error detecting code for the errors caused by the interaction with the environment. We consider environments with arbitrary number of local sites, e.g. spins, whose interactions among themselves are local and bounded. Then, assuming the system is interacting with a finite number of sites in the environment, we prove that, up to second order with respect to the coupling constant, decoherence and relaxation are suppressed by a factor which grows exponentially fast with the ratio of energy penalty to the norm of local interactions in the environment. The state may, however, still evolve unitarily inside the code subspace due to the Lamb shift effect. In the context of adiabatic quantum computation, this means that the evolution inside the code subspace is effectively governed by a renormalized Hamiltonian. The result is derived from first principles, without use of master equations or their assumptions, and holds even in the infinite temperature limit. We also prove that unbounded or non-local interactions in the environment at sites far from the system do not considerably modify the exponential suppression. Our main technical tool is a new bound on the decay of power spectral density at high frequencies for local observables and many-body Hamiltonians with bounded and local interactions in a neighborhood around the support of the observable.

### Duke Scholars

## Publication Date

### Citation

*Exponential suppression of decoherence and relaxation of quantum systems using energy penalty*. Feb. 2016.