Quantum annealing: An overview

Atanu Rajak, Sei Suzuki, Amit Dutta, Bikas K. Chakrabarti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this review, after providing the basic physical concept behind quantum annealing (or adiabatic quantum computation), we present an overview of some recent theoretical as well as experimental developments pointing to the issues which are still debated. With a brief discussion on the fundamental ideas of continuous and discontinuous quantum phase transitions, we discuss the Kibble-Zurek scaling of defect generation following a ramping of a quantum many body system across a quantum critical point. In the process, we discuss associated models, both pure and disordered, and shed light on implementations and some recent applications of the quantum annealing protocols. Furthermore, we discuss the effect of environmental coupling on quantum annealing. Some possible ways to speed up the annealing protocol in closed systems are elaborated upon: we especially focus on the recipes to avoid discontinuous quantum phase transitions occurring in some models where energy gaps vanish exponentially with the system size. This article is part of the theme issue 'Quantum annealing and computation: challenges and perspectives'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210417
JournalPhilosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
Issue number2241
StatePublished - 23 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).


  • decoherence
  • non-deterministic polynomial-time (NP)-complete and NP-hard problems
  • p-spin models
  • quantum spin glass
  • quantum tunnelling
  • transverse Ising models


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