Machine learning feature discovery of spinon Fermi surface
With rapid progress in simulation of strongly interacting quantum Hamiltonians, the challenge in characterizing unknown phases becomes a bottleneck for scientific progress. We demonstrate that a Quantum-Classical hybrid approach (QuCl) of mining the projective snapshots with interpretable classical machine learning, can unveil new signatures of seemingly featureless quantum states. The Kitaev-Heisenberg model on a honeycomb lattice with bond-dependent frustrated interactions presents an ideal system to test QuCl. The model hosts a wealth of quantum spin liquid states: gapped and gapless Z2 spin liquids, and a chiral spin liquid (CSL) phase in a small external magnetic field. Recently, various simulations have found a new intermediate gapless phase (IGP), sandwiched between the CSL and a partially polarized phase, launching a debate over its elusive nature. We reveal signatures of phases in the model by contrasting two phases pairwise using an interpretable neural network, the correlator convolutional neural network (CCNN). We train the CCNN with a labeled collection of sampled projective measurements and reveal signatures of each phase through regularization path analysis. We show that QuCl reproduces known features of established spin liquid phases and ordered phases. Most significantly, we identify a signature motif of the field-induced IGP in the spin channel perpendicular to the field direction, which we interpret as a signature of Friedel oscillations of gapless spinons forming a Fermi surface. Our predictions can guide future experimental searches for U(1) spin liquids.