## Benchmarking quantum annealing dynamics: The spin-vector Langevin model

The classical spin-vector Monte Carlo (SVMC) model is a reference benchmark for the performance of a quantum annealer. Yet, as a Monte Carlo method, SVMC is unsuited for an accurate description of the annealing dynamics in real-time. We introduce the spin-vector Langevin (SVL) model as an alternative benchmark in which the time evolution is described by Langevin dynamics. The SVL model is shown to provide a more stringent test than the SVMC model for the identification of quantum signatures in the performance of quantum annealing devices, as we illustrate by describing the Kibble-Zurek scaling associated with the dynamics of symmetry breaking in the transverse field Ising model, recently probed using D-Wave machines. Specifically, we show that D-Wave data are reproduced by the SVL model.

## Cold Atoms meet lattice gauge theories

The central idea of this review is to consider quantum field theory models relevant for particle physics and replace the fermionic matter in these models by a bosonic one. This is mostly motivated by the fact that bosons are more ‘accessible’ and easier to manipulate for experimentalists, but this ‘substitution’ also leads to new physics and novel phenomena. It allows us to gain new information about among other things confinement and the dynamics of the deconfinement transition. We will thus consider bosons in dynamical lattices corresponding to the bosonic Schwinger or Z2 Bose–Hubbard models. Another central idea of this review concerns atomic simulators of paradigmatic models of particle physics theory such as the Creutz–Hubbard ladder, or Gross–Neveu–Wilson and Wilson–Hubbard models. This article is not a general review of the rapidly growing field—it reviews activities related to quantum simulations for lattice field theories performed by the Quantum Optics Theory group at ICFO and their collaborators from 19 institutions all over the world. Finally, we will briefly describe our efforts to design experimentally friendly simulators of these and other models relevant for particle physics.

## Devil’s staircase of topological Peierls insulators and Peierls supersolids

We consider a mixture of ultracold bosonic atoms on a one-dimensional lattice described by the XXZ-Bose-Hubbard model, where the tunneling of one species depends on the spin state of a second deeply trapped species. We show how the inclusion of antiferromagnetic interactions among the spin degrees of freedom generates a Devil’s staircase of symmetry-protected topological phases for a wide parameter regime via a bosonic analog of the Peierls mechanism in electron-phonon systems. These topological Peierls insulators are examples of symmetry-breaking topological phases, where long-range order due to spontaneous symmetry breaking coexists with topological properties such as fractionalized edge states. Moreover, we identify a region of supersolid phases that do not require long-range interactions. They appear instead due to a Peierls incommensurability mechanism, where competing orders modify the underlying crystalline structure of Peierls insulators, becoming superfluid. Our work show the possibilities that ultracold atomic systems offer to investigate strongly-correlated topological phenomena beyond those found in natural materials.

## Phase Diagram of 1+1D Abelian-Higgs Model and Its Critical Point

We determine the phase diagram of the Abelian-Higgs model in one spatial dimension and time (1+ 1 D) on a lattice. We identify a line of first order phase transitions separating the Higgs region from the confined one. This line terminates in a quantum critical point above which the two regions are connected by a smooth crossover. We analyze the critical point and find compelling evidence for its description as the product of two noninteracting systems: a massless free fermion and a massless free boson. However, we find also some surprising results that cannot be explained by our simple picture, suggesting this newly discovered critical point is an unusual one.

## Quantum Fourier analysis for multivariate functions and applications to a class of Schrödinger-type partial differential equations

In this work we develop a highly efficient representation of functions and differential operators based on Fourier analysis. Using this representation, we create a variational hybrid quantum algorithm to solve static, Schrödinger-type, Hamiltonian partial differential equations (PDEs), using space-efficient variational circuits, including the symmetries of the problem, and global and gradient-based optimizers. We use this algorithm to benchmark the performance of the representation techniques by means of the computation of the ground state in three PDEs, i.e., the one-dimensional quantum harmonic oscillator and the transmon and flux qubits, studying how they would perform in ideal and near-term quantum computers. With the Fourier methods developed here, we obtain low infidelities of order 10^{−4}–10^{−5} using only three to four qubits, demonstrating the high compression of information in a quantum computer. Practical fidelities are limited by the noise and the errors of the evaluation of the cost function in real computers, but they can also be improved through error mitigation techniques.

## Quenches to the critical point of the three-state Potts model: Matrix product state simulations and conformal field theory

Conformal field theories (CFTs) have been used extensively to understand the physics of critical lattice models at equilibrium. However, the applicability of CFT calculations to the behavior of the lattice systems in the out-of-equilibrium setting is not entirely understood. In this work, we compare the CFT results of the evolution of the entanglement spectrum after a quantum quench with numerical calculations of the entanglement spectrum of the three-state Potts model using matrix product state simulations. Our results lead us to conjecture that CFT does not describe the entanglement spectrum of the three-state Potts model at long times, contrary to what happens in the Ising model. We thus numerically simulate the out-of-equilibrium behavior of the Potts model according to the CFT protocol, i.e., by taking a particular product state and “cooling” it, then quenching to the critical point and finding that, in this case, the entanglement spectrum is indeed described by the CFT at long times.

## Ultrastrong capcitive coupling of flux qubits

A flux qubit can interact strongly when it is capacitively coupled to other circuit elements. This interaction can be separated into two parts, one acting on the qubit subspaces and one in which excited states mediate the interaction. The first term dominates the interaction between the flux qubit and an LC-resonator, leading to ultrastrong couplings of the form σ_y(a+a†), which complement the inductive iσ_x(a†−a) coupling. However, when coupling two flux qubits capacitively, all terms need to be taken into account, leading to complex nonstoquastic ultrastrong interaction of types σ_yσ_y, σ_zσ_z, and σ_xσ_x. Our theory explains all these interactions, describing them in terms of general circuit properties—coupling capacitances, qubit gaps, inductive, Josephson and capacitive energies—that apply to a wide variety of circuits and flux qubit designs.