**First-order quantum phase transition in adiabatic quantum computation**

M. H. S. Amin and V. Choi

We investigate the connection between local minima in the problem Hamiltonian and first-order quantum phase transitions during adiabatic quantum computation. We demonstrate how some properties of the local minima can lead to an extremely small gap that is exponentially sensitive to the Hamiltonian parameters. Using perturbation expansion, we derive an analytical formula that cannot only predict the behavior of the gap, but also provide insight on how to controllably vary the gap size by changing the parameters. We show agreement with numerical calculations for a weighted maximum independent set problem instance.

**Non-Markovian incoherent quantum dynamics of a two-state system**

M. H. S. Amin and Frederico Brito

We present a detailed study of the non-Markovian two-state system dynamics for the regime of incoherent quantum tunneling. Using perturbation theory in the system tunneling amplitude , and in the limit of strong system-bath coupling, we determine the short-time evolution of the reduced density matrix and thereby find a general equation of motion for the non-Markovian evolution at longer times. We relate the nonlocality in time due to the non-Markovian effects with the environment characteristic response time. In addition, we study the incoherent evolution of a system with a double-well potential, where each well consists of several quantized energy levels. We determine the crossover temperature to a regime where many energy levels in the wells participate in the tunneling process, and observe that the required temperature can be much smaller than the one associated with the system plasma frequency. We also discuss experimental implications of our theoretical analysis.

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