Research paper: Mitigating Errors in Local Fermionic Encodings
Quantum simulations of fermionic many-body systems crucially rely on mappings from indistinguishable fermions to distinguishable qubits. The non-local structure of fermionic Fock space necessitates encodings that either map local fermionic operators to non-local qubit operators, or encode the fermionic representation in a long-range entangled code space. In this latter case, there is an unavoidable trade-off between two desirable properties of the encoding: low weight representations of local fermionic operators, and a high distance code space. Here it is argued that despite this fundamental limitation, fermionic encodings with low-weight representations of local fermionic operators can still exhibit error mitigating properties which can serve a similar role to that played by high code distances. In particular when undetectable errors correspond to "natural" fermionic noise. We illustrate this point explicitly for two fermionic encodings: the Verstraete-Cirac encoding, and an encoding appearing in concurrent work by Derby and Klassen. In these encodings many, but not all, single-qubit errors can be detected. However we show that the remaining undetectable single-qubit errors map to local, low-weight fermionic phase noise. We argue that such noise is natural for fermionic lattice models. This suggests that even when employing low-weight fermionic encodings, error rates can be suppressed in a similar fashion to high distance codes, provided one is willing to accept simulated natural fermionic noise in their simulated fermionic system.