Physical Review A
Necessity of an energy barrier for self-correction of Abelian quantum doubles
We rigorously establish an Arrhenius law for the mixing time of quantum doubles based on any Abelian group Zd. We have made the concept of the energy barrier therein mathematically well defined; it is related to the minimum energy cost the environment has to provide to the system in order to produce a generalized Pauli error, maximized for any generalized Pauli errors, not only logical operators. We evaluate this generalized energy barrier in Abelian quantum double models and find it to be a constant independent of system size. Thus, we rule out the possibility of entropic protection for this broad group of models.