## Abstract

The classical description of quantum states is in general exponential in the number of qubits. Can we get polynomial descriptions for more restricted sets of states such as ground states of interesting subclasses of local Hamiltonians? This is the basic problem in the study of the complexity of ground states, and requires an understanding of multi-particle entanglement and quantum correlations in such states. Area laws provide a fundamental ingredient in the study of the complexity of ground states, since they offer a way to bound in a quantitative way the entanglement in such states. Although they have long been conjectured for many body systems in arbitrary dimensions, a general rigorous was only recently proved in Hastings' seminal paper [8] for 1D systems. In this paper, we give a combinatorial proof of the 1D area law for the special case of frustration free systems, improving by an exponential factor the scaling in terms of the inverse spectral gap and the dimensionality of the particles. The scaling in terms of the dimension of the particles is a potentially important issue in the context of resolving the 2D case and higher dimensions, which is one of the most important open questions in Hamiltonian complexity. Our proof is based on a reformulation of the detectability lemma, introduced by us in the context of quantum gap amplification [1]. We give an alternative proof of the detectability lemma, which is not only simpler and more intuitive than the original proof, but also removes a key restriction in the original statement, making it more suitable for this new context. We also give a one page proof of Hastings' proof that the correlations in the ground states of gapped Hamiltonians decay exponentially with the distance, demonstrating the simplicity of the combinatorial approach for those problems.

Original language | American English |
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Title of host publication | Proceedings - 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 |

Pages | 324-333 |

Number of pages | 10 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2011 |

Event | 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 - Palm Springs, CA, United States Duration: 22 Oct 2011 → 25 Oct 2011 |

### Publication series

Name | Proceedings - Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS |
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ISSN (Print) | 0272-5428 |

### Conference

Conference | 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | Palm Springs, CA |

Period | 22/10/11 → 25/10/11 |

## Keywords

- Hamiltonian
- area law
- description complexity
- detectability lemma
- entanglement
- ground state