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Quantum computation with Topological Lattice Field Theories

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Recent results have shown that quantum computers can approximate the value of a tensor network efficiently. These results have initiated a search for tensor networks which contract to computationally interesting quantities. Topological Lattice Field Theories (TLFTs) are one source of such networks; when defined appropriately, networks arising from TLFTs contract to give topological invariants. In this elementary talk, we will define and classify TLFTs which lead to invariants of surfaces, and sketch out the corresponding quantum algorithm. Our exposition will be targetted at a general mathematically-inclined audience; no previous knowledge of field theories is required.