The solution to the wave equation as a Cauchy problem with prescribed fields at an initial time $t=0$ is purely retarded. Similarly, in the quantum theory of radiation the specification of Heisenberg picture photon annihilation and creation operators at time $t \gt 0$ in terms of operators at $t=0$ automatically yields purely retarded source-fields. However, we show that two-time quantum correlations between the retarded source-fields of a stationary dipole and the quantum vacuum-field possess advanced wave-like contributions. Despite their advanced nature, these correlations are perfectly consistent with Einstein causality. It is shown that while they do not significantly contribute to photo-detection amplitudes in the vacuum state, they do effect the statistics of measurements involving the radiative force experienced by a point charge in the field of the dipole. Specifically, the dispersion in the charge's momentum is found to increase with time. This entails the possibility of obtaining direct experimental evidence for the existence of advanced waves in physical reality, and provides yet another signature of the quantum nature of the vacuum.

Quantum 2, 46 (2018). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2018-01-18-46

]]>The solution to the wave equation as a Cauchy problem with prescribed fields at an initial time $t=0$ is purely retarded. Similarly, in the quantum theory of radiation the specification of Heisenberg picture photon annihilation and creation operators at time $t \gt 0$ in terms of operators at $t=0$ automatically yields purely retarded source-fields. However, we show that two-time quantum correlations between the retarded source-fields of a stationary dipole and the quantum vacuum-field possess advanced wave-like contributions. Despite their advanced nature, these correlations are perfectly consistent with Einstein causality. It is shown that while they do not significantly contribute to photo-detection amplitudes in the vacuum state, they do effect the statistics of measurements involving the radiative force experienced by a point charge in the field of the dipole. Specifically, the dispersion in the charge's momentum is found to increase with time. This entails the possibility of obtaining direct experimental evidence for the existence of advanced waves in physical reality, and provides yet another signature of the quantum nature of the vacuum.

]]>We study the separability problem in mixtures of Dicke states i.e., the separability of the so-called Diagonal Symmetric (DS) states. First, we show that separability in the case of DS in $C^d\otimes C^d$ (symmetric qudits) can be reformulated as a quadratic conic optimization problem. This connection allows us to exchange concepts and ideas between quantum information and this field of mathematics. For instance, copositive matrices can be understood as indecomposable entanglement witnesses for DS states. As a consequence, we show that positivity of the partial transposition (PPT) is sufficient and necessary for separability of DS states for $d \leq 4$. Furthermore, for $d \geq 5$, we provide analytic examples of PPT-entangled states. Second, we develop new sufficient separability conditions beyond the PPT criterion for bipartite DS states. Finally, we focus on $N$-partite DS qubits, where PPT is known to be necessary and sufficient for separability. In this case, we present a family of almost DS states that are PPT with respect to each partition but nevertheless entangled.

Quantum 2, 45 (2018). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2018-01-12-45

]]>We study the separability problem in mixtures of Dicke states i.e., the separability of the so-called Diagonal Symmetric (DS) states. First, we show that separability in the case of DS in $C^d\otimes C^d$ (symmetric qudits) can be reformulated as a quadratic conic optimization problem. This connection allows us to exchange concepts and ideas between quantum information and this field of mathematics. For instance, copositive matrices can be understood as indecomposable entanglement witnesses for DS states. As a consequence, we show that positivity of the partial transposition (PPT) is sufficient and necessary for separability of DS states for $d \leq 4$. Furthermore, for $d \geq 5$, we provide analytic examples of PPT-entangled states. Second, we develop new sufficient separability conditions beyond the PPT criterion for bipartite DS states. Finally, we focus on $N$-partite DS qubits, where PPT is known to be necessary and sufficient for separability. In this case, we present a family of almost DS states that are PPT with respect to each partition but nevertheless entangled.

]]>Recent work has shown that quantum computers can compute scattering probabilities in massive quantum field theories, with a run time that is polynomial in the number of particles, their energy, and the desired precision. Here we study a closely related quantum field-theoretical problem: estimating the vacuum-to-vacuum transition amplitude, in the presence of spacetime-dependent classical sources, for a massive scalar field theory in (1+1) dimensions. We show that this problem is BQP-hard; in other words, its solution enables one to solve any problem that is solvable in polynomial time by a quantum computer. Hence, the vacuum-to-vacuum amplitude cannot be accurately estimated by any efficient classical algorithm, even if the field theory is very weakly coupled, unless BQP=BPP. Furthermore, the corresponding decision problem can be solved by a quantum computer in a time scaling polynomially with the number of bits needed to specify the classical source fields, and this problem is therefore BQP-complete. Our construction can be regarded as an idealized architecture for a universal quantum computer in a laboratory system described by massive phi^4 theory coupled to classical spacetime-dependent sources.

Quantum 2, 44 (2018). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2018-01-08-44

]]>Recent work has shown that quantum computers can compute scattering probabilities in massive quantum field theories, with a run time that is polynomial in the number of particles, their energy, and the desired precision. Here we study a closely related quantum field-theoretical problem: estimating the vacuum-to-vacuum transition amplitude, in the presence of spacetime-dependent classical sources, for a massive scalar field theory in (1+1) dimensions. We show that this problem is BQP-hard; in other words, its solution enables one to solve any problem that is solvable in polynomial time by a quantum computer. Hence, the vacuum-to-vacuum amplitude cannot be accurately estimated by any efficient classical algorithm, even if the field theory is very weakly coupled, unless BQP=BPP. Furthermore, the corresponding decision problem can be solved by a quantum computer in a time scaling polynomially with the number of bits needed to specify the classical source fields, and this problem is therefore BQP-complete. Our construction can be regarded as an idealized architecture for a universal quantum computer in a laboratory system described by massive phi^4 theory coupled to classical spacetime-dependent sources.

]]>We consider the problem of fault-tolerant quantum computation in the presence of slow error diagnostics, either caused by measurement latencies or slow decoding algorithms. Our scheme offers a few improvements over previously existing solutions, for instance it does not require active error correction and results in a reduced error-correction overhead when error diagnostics is much slower than the gate time. In addition, we adapt our protocol to cases where the underlying error correction strategy chooses the optimal correction amongst all Clifford gates instead of the usual Pauli gates. The resulting Clifford frame protocol is of independent interest as it can increase error thresholds and could find applications in other areas of quantum computation.

Quantum 2, 43 (2018). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2018-01-04-43

]]>We consider the problem of fault-tolerant quantum computation in the presence of slow error diagnostics, either caused by measurement latencies or slow decoding algorithms. Our scheme offers a few improvements over previously existing solutions, for instance it does not require active error correction and results in a reduced error-correction overhead when error diagnostics is much slower than the gate time. In addition, we adapt our protocol to cases where the underlying error correction strategy chooses the optimal correction amongst all Clifford gates instead of the usual Pauli gates. The resulting Clifford frame protocol is of independent interest as it can increase error thresholds and could find applications in other areas of quantum computation.

]]>We propose a method to experimentally measure the internal energy of a system of ultracold atoms trapped in optical lattices by coupling them to the fields of two optical cavities. We show that the tunnelling and self-interaction terms of the one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian can be mapped to the field and photon number of each cavity, respectively. We compare the energy estimated using this method with numerical results obtained using the density matrix renormalisation group algorithm. Our method can be employed for the assessment of power and efficiency of thermal machines whose working substance is a strongly correlated many-body system.

Quantum 2, 42 (2018). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2018-01-04-42

]]>We propose a method to experimentally measure the internal energy of a system of ultracold atoms trapped in optical lattices by coupling them to the fields of two optical cavities. We show that the tunnelling and self-interaction terms of the one-dimensional Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian can be mapped to the field and photon number of each cavity, respectively. We compare the energy estimated using this method with numerical results obtained using the density matrix renormalisation group algorithm. Our method can be employed for the assessment of power and efficiency of thermal machines whose working substance is a strongly correlated many-body system.

]]>Consider two parties: Alice and Bob and suppose that Bob is given a qubit system in a quantum state $\phi$, unknown to him. Alice knows $\phi$ and she is supposed to convince Bob that she knows $\phi$ sending some test message. Is it possible for her to convince Bob providing him "zero knowledge" i. e. no information about $\phi$ he has? We prove that there is no "zero knowledge" protocol of that kind. In fact it turns out that basing on Alice message, Bob (or third party - Eve - who can intercept the message) can synthetize a copy of the unknown qubit state $\phi$ with nonzero probability. This "no-go" result puts general constrains on information processing where information about quantum state is involved.

Quantum 1, 41 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-12-23-41

]]>Consider two parties: Alice and Bob and suppose that Bob is given a qubit system in a quantum state $\phi$, unknown to him. Alice knows $\phi$ and she is supposed to convince Bob that she knows $\phi$ sending some test message. Is it possible for her to convince Bob providing him "zero knowledge" i. e. no information about $\phi$ he has? We prove that there is no "zero knowledge" protocol of that kind. In fact it turns out that basing on Alice message, Bob (or third party - Eve - who can intercept the message) can synthetize a copy of the unknown qubit state $\phi$ with nonzero probability. This "no-go" result puts general constrains on information processing where information about quantum state is involved.

]]>We study spin transport in a boundary driven XXZ spin chain. Driving at the chain boundaries is modeled by two additional spin chains prepared in oppositely polarized states. Emergent behavior, both in the transient dynamics and in the long-time quasi-steady state, is demonstrated. Time-dependent matrix-product-state simulations of the system-bath state show ballistic spin transport below the Heisenberg isotropic point. Indications of exponentially vanishing transport are found above the Heisenberg point for low energy initial states while the current decays asymptotically as a power law for high energy states. Precisely at the critical point, non-ballistic transport is observed. Finally, it is found that the sensitivity of the quasi-stationary state on the initial state of the chain is a good witness of the different transport phases.

Quantum 1, 40 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-12-20-40

]]>We study spin transport in a boundary driven XXZ spin chain. Driving at the chain boundaries is modeled by two additional spin chains prepared in oppositely polarized states. Emergent behavior, both in the transient dynamics and in the long-time quasi-steady state, is demonstrated. Time-dependent matrix-product-state simulations of the system-bath state show ballistic spin transport below the Heisenberg isotropic point. Indications of exponentially vanishing transport are found above the Heisenberg point for low energy initial states while the current decays asymptotically as a power law for high energy states. Precisely at the critical point, non-ballistic transport is observed. Finally, it is found that the sensitivity of the quasi-stationary state on the initial state of the chain is a good witness of the different transport phases.

]]>The study of correlations with no definite causal order has revealed a rich structure emerging when more than two parties are involved. This motivates the consideration of multipartite "noncausal" correlations that cannot be realised even if noncausal resources are made available to a smaller number of parties. Here we formalise this notion: genuinely N-partite noncausal correlations are those that cannot be produced by grouping N parties into two or more subsets, where a causal order between the subsets exists. We prove that such correlations can be characterised as lying outside a polytope, whose vertices correspond to deterministic strategies and whose facets define what we call "2-causal" inequalities. We show that genuinely multipartite noncausal correlations arise within the process matrix formalism, where quantum mechanics holds locally but no global causal structure is assumed, although for some inequalities no violation was found. We further introduce two refined definitions that allow one to quantify, in different ways, to what extent noncausal correlations correspond to a genuinely multipartite resource.

Quantum 1, 39 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-12-14-39

]]>The study of correlations with no definite causal order has revealed a rich structure emerging when more than two parties are involved. This motivates the consideration of multipartite "noncausal" correlations that cannot be realised even if noncausal resources are made available to a smaller number of parties. Here we formalise this notion: genuinely N-partite noncausal correlations are those that cannot be produced by grouping N parties into two or more subsets, where a causal order between the subsets exists. We prove that such correlations can be characterised as lying outside a polytope, whose vertices correspond to deterministic strategies and whose facets define what we call "2-causal" inequalities. We show that genuinely multipartite noncausal correlations arise within the process matrix formalism, where quantum mechanics holds locally but no global causal structure is assumed, although for some inequalities no violation was found. We further introduce two refined definitions that allow one to quantify, in different ways, to what extent noncausal correlations correspond to a genuinely multipartite resource.

]]>We develop an operational approach for reconstructing the quantum theory of qubit systems from elementary rules on information acquisition. The focus lies on an observer $O$ interrogating a system $S$ with binary questions and $S$'s state is taken as $O$'s `catalogue of knowledge' about $S$. The mathematical tools of the framework are simple and we attempt to highlight all underlying assumptions. Four rules are imposed, asserting (1) a limit on the amount of information available to $O$; (2) the mere existence of complementary information; (3) $O$'s total amount of information to be preserved in-between interrogations; and, (4) $O$'s `catalogue of knowledge' to change continuously in time in-between interrogations and every consistent such evolution to be possible. This approach permits a {\it constructive} derivation of quantum theory, elucidating how the ensuing independence, complementarity and compatibility structure of $O$'s questions matches that of projective measurements in quantum theory, how entanglement and monogamy of entanglement, non-locality and, more generally, how the correlation structure of arbitrarily many qubits and rebits arises. The rules yield a reversible time evolution and a quadratic measure, quantifying $O$'s information about $S$. Finally, it is shown that the four rules admit two solutions for the simplest case of a single elementary system: the Bloch ball and disc as state spaces for a qubit and rebit, respectively, together with their symmetries as time evolution groups. The reconstruction for arbitrarily many qubits is completed in a companion paper [P. A. Höhn and C. S. P. Wever, Phys. Rev. A 95 (2017) 012102] where an additional rule eliminates the rebit case. This approach is inspired by (but does not rely on) the relational interpretation and yields a novel formulation of quantum theory in terms of questions.

Quantum 1, 38 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-12-14-38

]]>We develop an operational approach for reconstructing the quantum theory of qubit systems from elementary rules on information acquisition. The focus lies on an observer $O$ interrogating a system $S$ with binary questions and $S$'s state is taken as $O$'s `catalogue of knowledge' about $S$. The mathematical tools of the framework are simple and we attempt to highlight all underlying assumptions. Four rules are imposed, asserting (1) a limit on the amount of information available to $O$; (2) the mere existence of complementary information; (3) $O$'s total amount of information to be preserved in-between interrogations; and, (4) $O$'s `catalogue of knowledge' to change continuously in time in-between interrogations and every consistent such evolution to be possible. This approach permits a {\it constructive} derivation of quantum theory, elucidating how the ensuing independence, complementarity and compatibility structure of $O$'s questions matches that of projective measurements in quantum theory, how entanglement and monogamy of entanglement, non-locality and, more generally, how the correlation structure of arbitrarily many qubits and rebits arises. The rules yield a reversible time evolution and a quadratic measure, quantifying $O$'s information about $S$. Finally, it is shown that the four rules admit two solutions for the simplest case of a single elementary system: the Bloch ball and disc as state spaces for a qubit and rebit, respectively, together with their symmetries as time evolution groups. The reconstruction for arbitrarily many qubits is completed in a companion paper [P. A. Höhn and C. S. P. Wever, Phys. Rev. A 95 (2017) 012102] where an additional rule eliminates the rebit case. This approach is inspired by (but does not rely on) the relational interpretation and yields a novel formulation of quantum theory in terms of questions.

]]>Quantum is launching a** pilot outreach project**, **Quantum Leaps**, where scientists write a rigorous and accessible popular science version of a research paper, which are then **reviewed by school students**, under the supervision of a researcher.

The pilot project will take place in Sydney this Spring, with groups of 13-year old students supervised by Chris Ferrie.

We have an **open call for articles** running now, with a deadline on the **12th of February** 2018. Click here to learn more and submit your article.

]]>

We study the quantum and classical evolution of a system of three harmonic modes interacting via a trilinear Hamiltonian. With the modes prepared in thermal states of different temperatures, this model describes the working principle of an absorption refrigerator that transfers energy from a cold to a hot environment at the expense of free energy provided by a high-temperature work reservoir. Inspired by a recent experimental realization with trapped ions, we elucidate key features of the coupling Hamiltonian that are relevant for the refrigerator performance. The coherent system dynamics exhibits rapid effective equilibration of the mode energies and correlations, as well as a transient enhancement of the cooling performance at short times. We find that these features can be fully reproduced in a classical framework.

Quantum 1, 37 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-12-11-37

]]>We study the quantum and classical evolution of a system of three harmonic modes interacting via a trilinear Hamiltonian. With the modes prepared in thermal states of different temperatures, this model describes the working principle of an absorption refrigerator that transfers energy from a cold to a hot environment at the expense of free energy provided by a high-temperature work reservoir. Inspired by a recent experimental realization with trapped ions, we elucidate key features of the coupling Hamiltonian that are relevant for the refrigerator performance. The coherent system dynamics exhibits rapid effective equilibration of the mode energies and correlations, as well as a transient enhancement of the cooling performance at short times. We find that these features can be fully reproduced in a classical framework.

]]>We show how the spin independent scattering of two initially distant qubits, say, in distinct traps or in remote sites of a lattice, can be used to implement an entangling quantum gate between them. The scattering takes place under 1D confinement for which we consider two different scenarios: a 1D wave-guide and a tight-binding lattice. We consider models with contact-like interaction between two fermionic or two bosonic particles. A qubit is encoded in two distinct spins (or other internal) states of each particle. Our scheme enables the implementation of a gate between two qubits which are initially too far to interact directly, and provides an alternative to photonic mediators for the scaling of quantum computers. Fundamentally, an interesting feature is that "identical particles" (e.g., two atoms of the same species) and the 1D confinement, are both necessary for the action of the gate. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of our scheme, the degree of control required to initialize the wave-packets momenta, and show how the quality of the gate is affected by momentum distributions and initial distance. In a lattice, the control of quasi-momenta is naturally provided by few local edge impurities in the lattice potential.

Quantum 1, 36 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-11-30-36

]]>We show how the spin independent scattering of two initially distant qubits, say, in distinct traps or in remote sites of a lattice, can be used to implement an entangling quantum gate between them. The scattering takes place under 1D confinement for which we consider two different scenarios: a 1D wave-guide and a tight-binding lattice. We consider models with contact-like interaction between two fermionic or two bosonic particles. A qubit is encoded in two distinct spins (or other internal) states of each particle. Our scheme enables the implementation of a gate between two qubits which are initially too far to interact directly, and provides an alternative to photonic mediators for the scaling of quantum computers. Fundamentally, an interesting feature is that "identical particles" (e.g., two atoms of the same species) and the 1D confinement, are both necessary for the action of the gate. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of our scheme, the degree of control required to initialize the wave-packets momenta, and show how the quality of the gate is affected by momentum distributions and initial distance. In a lattice, the control of quasi-momenta is naturally provided by few local edge impurities in the lattice potential.

]]>Correlations between spacelike separated measurements on entangled quantum systems are stronger than any classical correlations and are at the heart of numerous quantum technologies. In practice, however, spacelike separation is often not guaranteed and we typically face situations where measurements have an underlying time order. Here we aim to provide a fair comparison of classical and quantum models of temporal correlations on a single particle, as well as timelike-separated correlations on multiple particles. We use a causal modeling approach to show, in theory and experiment, that quantum correlations outperform their classical counterpart when allowed equal, but limited communication resources. This provides a clearer picture of the role of quantum correlations in timelike separated scenarios, which play an important role in foundational and practical aspects of quantum information processing.

Quantum 1, 35 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-11-25-35

]]>Correlations between spacelike separated measurements on entangled quantum systems are stronger than any classical correlations and are at the heart of numerous quantum technologies. In practice, however, spacelike separation is often not guaranteed and we typically face situations where measurements have an underlying time order. Here we aim to provide a fair comparison of classical and quantum models of temporal correlations on a single particle, as well as timelike-separated correlations on multiple particles. We use a causal modeling approach to show, in theory and experiment, that quantum correlations outperform their classical counterpart when allowed equal, but limited communication resources. This provides a clearer picture of the role of quantum correlations in timelike separated scenarios, which play an important role in foundational and practical aspects of quantum information processing.

]]>“Quantum” and the Quantum logo are now a registered trademark of the Verein zur Förderung des Open Access Publizierens in den Quantenwissenschaften in the European Union for the publishing of scientific papers, electronic publishing, the publishing of journals, and several other categories of goods and services.

This means that legal experts have examined our trademark application, found it to be distinctive and nobody opposed us registering the term and visual appearance for the specified categories. The registration of the trademark with the EUIPO will give Quantum an extra layer of protection and help ensure that we will be able to keep using our distinctive design in the future.

]]>We consider fundamental limits on the detectable size of macroscopic quantum superpositions. We argue that a full quantum mechanical treatment of system plus measurement device is required, and that a (classical) reference frame for phase or direction needs to be established to certify the quantum state. When taking the size of such a classical reference frame into account, we show that to reliably distinguish a quantum superposition state from an incoherent mixture requires a measurement device that is quadratically bigger than the superposition state. Whereas for moderate system sizes such as generated in previous experiments this is not a stringent restriction, for macroscopic superpositions of the size of a cat the required effort quickly becomes intractable, requiring measurement devices of the size of the Earth. We illustrate our results using macroscopic superposition states of photons, spins, and position. Finally, we also show how this limitation can be circumvented by dealing with superpositions in relative degrees of freedom.

Quantum 1, 34 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-11-21-34

]]>We consider fundamental limits on the detectable size of macroscopic quantum superpositions. We argue that a full quantum mechanical treatment of system plus measurement device is required, and that a (classical) reference frame for phase or direction needs to be established to certify the quantum state. When taking the size of such a classical reference frame into account, we show that to reliably distinguish a quantum superposition state from an incoherent mixture requires a measurement device that is quadratically bigger than the superposition state. Whereas for moderate system sizes such as generated in previous experiments this is not a stringent restriction, for macroscopic superpositions of the size of a cat the required effort quickly becomes intractable, requiring measurement devices of the size of the Earth. We illustrate our results using macroscopic superposition states of photons, spins, and position. Finally, we also show how this limitation can be circumvented by dealing with superpositions in relative degrees of freedom.

]]>One year ago Quantum opened for submissions and we would like to take this as an opportunity to celebrate its first birthday!

A lot has happened since. About 100 manuscripts have been submitted, showing us that researchers are eager to get some of their best science published in Quantum. Our editors have been working hard to make decisions on nearly 70 manuscripts, and 35 of them could be accepted. Only in four cases did a rejection lead to an appeal. We are also very happy that the average time from submission to decision is just 90 days (120 for accepted papers), despite our high quality standards concerning the peer-review process, which we take as an indication that our referees are generally very motivated to invest their precious time in writing reports for Quantum.

We would hence like to send a big **THANK YOU** to all our editors and referees! We are looking forward to the next year with you!

The journal is also looking very healthy in all other respects. Due to our sponsors and the high willingness of our authors to pay our small publication fee, our financial situation has now stabilized to a point that made it possible to hire two management assistants (more details soon). Quantum is being reviewed for inclusion in several of the big databases (Directory of Open Access Journals, Web of Science, Scopus), we have joined Cited-by and our content is indexed by Google Scholar.

]]>The semi-device-independent approach provides a framework for prepare-and-measure quantum protocols using devices whose behavior must not be characterized nor trusted, except for a single assumption on the dimension of the Hilbert space characterizing the quantum carriers. Here, we propose instead to constrain the quantum carriers through a bound on the mean value of a well-chosen observable. This modified assumption is physically better motivated than a dimension bound and closer to the description of actual experiments. In particular, we consider quantum optical schemes where the source emits quantum states described in an infinite-dimensional Fock space and model our assumption as an upper bound on the average photon number in the emitted states. We characterize the set of correlations that may be exhibited in the simplest possible scenario compatible with our new framework, based on two energy-constrained state preparations and a two-outcome measurement. Interestingly, we uncover the existence of quantum correlations exceeding the set of classical correlations that can be produced by devices behaving in a purely pre-determined fashion (possibly including shared randomness). This feature suggests immediate applications to certified randomness generation. Along this line, we analyze the achievable correlations in several prepare-and-measure optical schemes with a mean photon number constraint and demonstrate that they allow for the generation of certified randomness. Our simplest optical scheme works by the on-off keying of an attenuated laser source followed by photocounting. It opens the path to more sophisticated energy-constrained semi-device-independent quantum cryptography protocols, such as quantum key distribution.

Quantum 1, 33 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-11-18-33

]]>The semi-device-independent approach provides a framework for prepare-and-measure quantum protocols using devices whose behavior must not be characterized nor trusted, except for a single assumption on the dimension of the Hilbert space characterizing the quantum carriers. Here, we propose instead to constrain the quantum carriers through a bound on the mean value of a well-chosen observable. This modified assumption is physically better motivated than a dimension bound and closer to the description of actual experiments. In particular, we consider quantum optical schemes where the source emits quantum states described in an infinite-dimensional Fock space and model our assumption as an upper bound on the average photon number in the emitted states. We characterize the set of correlations that may be exhibited in the simplest possible scenario compatible with our new framework, based on two energy-constrained state preparations and a two-outcome measurement. Interestingly, we uncover the existence of quantum correlations exceeding the set of classical correlations that can be produced by devices behaving in a purely pre-determined fashion (possibly including shared randomness). This feature suggests immediate applications to certified randomness generation. Along this line, we analyze the achievable correlations in several prepare-and-measure optical schemes with a mean photon number constraint and demonstrate that they allow for the generation of certified randomness. Our simplest optical scheme works by the on-off keying of an attenuated laser source followed by photocounting. It opens the path to more sophisticated energy-constrained semi-device-independent quantum cryptography protocols, such as quantum key distribution.

]]>Who is citing papers published in Quantum? This is now easier to find than ever, since Quantum has started displaying Cited-by information on the pages of its articles. You can try it out for example for this paper (scroll to the bottom).

Following its mission to make publishing more open and transparent, Quantum is also making its own citation meta-data available to all other publishers participating in the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Thereby, Quantum is contributing to a database of citation meta-data that can be accessed by all participants in a fair way.

We have also applied for Quantum to be included in the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Web of Science, and Scopus. The evaluation in all three cases is ongoing and can take up to 12 months. Google Scholar is also already crawling and indexing the content published by Quantum. We will keep you posted about updates!

]]>Thank you CQT for supporting open scientific publishing!

Quantum practices open accounting, which you may consult at any time.

]]>

We develop a general framework to investigate fluctuations of non-commuting observables. To this end, we consider the Keldysh quasi-probability distribution (KQPD). This distribution provides a measurement-independent description of the observables of interest and their time-evolution. Nevertheless, positive probability distributions for measurement outcomes can be obtained from the KQPD by taking into account the effect of measurement back-action and imprecision. Negativity in the KQPD can be linked to an interference effect and acts as an indicator for non-classical behavior. Notable examples of the KQPD are the Wigner function and the full counting statistics, both of which have been used extensively to describe systems in the absence as well as in the presence of a measurement apparatus. Here we discuss the KQPD and its moments in detail and connect it to various time-dependent problems including weak values, fluctuating work, and Leggett-Garg inequalities. Our results are illustrated using the simple example of two subsequent, non-commuting spin measurements.

Quantum 1, 32 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-10-12-32

]]>We develop a general framework to investigate fluctuations of non-commuting observables. To this end, we consider the Keldysh quasi-probability distribution (KQPD). This distribution provides a measurement-independent description of the observables of interest and their time-evolution. Nevertheless, positive probability distributions for measurement outcomes can be obtained from the KQPD by taking into account the effect of measurement back-action and imprecision. Negativity in the KQPD can be linked to an interference effect and acts as an indicator for non-classical behavior. Notable examples of the KQPD are the Wigner function and the full counting statistics, both of which have been used extensively to describe systems in the absence as well as in the presence of a measurement apparatus. Here we discuss the KQPD and its moments in detail and connect it to various time-dependent problems including weak values, fluctuating work, and Leggett-Garg inequalities. Our results are illustrated using the simple example of two subsequent, non-commuting spin measurements.

]]>Quantum continues to grow and is hiring a management assistant. For now, this is a part-time position for six months based in Vienna.

To learn more have a look at the job announcement and application page.

]]>We present an infinite family of protocols to distill magic states for $T$-gates that has a low space overhead and uses an asymptotic number of input magic states to achieve a given target error that is conjectured to be optimal. The space overhead, defined as the ratio between the physical qubits to the number of output magic states, is asymptotically constant, while both the number of input magic states used per output state and the $T$-gate depth of the circuit scale linearly in the logarithm of the target error $\delta$ (up to $\log \log 1/\delta$). Unlike other distillation protocols, this protocol achieves this performance without concatenation and the input magic states are injected at various steps in the circuit rather than all at the start of the circuit. The protocol can be modified to distill magic states for other gates at the third level of the Clifford hierarchy, with the same asymptotic performance. The protocol relies on the construction of weakly self-dual CSS codes with many logical qubits and large distance, allowing us to implement control-SWAPs on multiple qubits. We call this code the "inner code". The control-SWAPs are then used to measure properties of the magic state and detect errors, using another code that we call the "outer code". Alternatively, we use weakly-self dual CSS codes which implement controlled Hadamards for the inner code, reducing circuit depth. We present several specific small examples of this protocol.

Quantum 1, 31 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-10-03-31

]]>We present an infinite family of protocols to distill magic states for $T$-gates that has a low space overhead and uses an asymptotic number of input magic states to achieve a given target error that is conjectured to be optimal. The space overhead, defined as the ratio between the physical qubits to the number of output magic states, is asymptotically constant, while both the number of input magic states used per output state and the $T$-gate depth of the circuit scale linearly in the logarithm of the target error $\delta$ (up to $\log \log 1/\delta$). Unlike other distillation protocols, this protocol achieves this performance without concatenation and the input magic states are injected at various steps in the circuit rather than all at the start of the circuit. The protocol can be modified to distill magic states for other gates at the third level of the Clifford hierarchy, with the same asymptotic performance. The protocol relies on the construction of weakly self-dual CSS codes with many logical qubits and large distance, allowing us to implement control-SWAPs on multiple qubits. We call this code the "inner code". The control-SWAPs are then used to measure properties of the magic state and detect errors, using another code that we call the "outer code". Alternatively, we use weakly-self dual CSS codes which implement controlled Hadamards for the inner code, reducing circuit depth. We present several specific small examples of this protocol.

]]>We study the dynamics of a quantum impurity immersed in a Bose-Einstein condensate as an open quantum system in the framework of the quantum Brownian motion model. We derive a generalized Langevin equation for the position of the impurity. The Langevin equation is an integrodifferential equation that contains a memory kernel and is driven by a colored noise. These result from considering the environment as given by the degrees of freedom of the quantum gas, and thus depend on its parameters, e.g. interaction strength between the bosons, temperature, etc. We study the role of the memory on the dynamics of the impurity. When the impurity is untrapped, we find that it exhibits a super-diffusive behavior at long times. We find that back-flow in energy between the environment and the impurity occurs during evolution. When the particle is trapped, we calculate the variance of the position and momentum to determine how they compare with the Heisenberg limit. One important result of this paper is that we find position squeezing for the trapped impurity at long times. We determine the regime of validity of our model and the parameters in which these effects can be observed in realistic experiments.

Quantum 1, 30 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-09-27-30

]]>We study the dynamics of a quantum impurity immersed in a Bose-Einstein condensate as an open quantum system in the framework of the quantum Brownian motion model. We derive a generalized Langevin equation for the position of the impurity. The Langevin equation is an integrodifferential equation that contains a memory kernel and is driven by a colored noise. These result from considering the environment as given by the degrees of freedom of the quantum gas, and thus depend on its parameters, e.g. interaction strength between the bosons, temperature, etc. We study the role of the memory on the dynamics of the impurity. When the impurity is untrapped, we find that it exhibits a super-diffusive behavior at long times. We find that back-flow in energy between the environment and the impurity occurs during evolution. When the particle is trapped, we calculate the variance of the position and momentum to determine how they compare with the Heisenberg limit. One important result of this paper is that we find position squeezing for the trapped impurity at long times. We determine the regime of validity of our model and the parameters in which these effects can be observed in realistic experiments.

]]>Non-Markovian stochastic Schrödinger equations (NMSSE) are important tools in quantum mechanics, from the theory of open systems to foundations. Yet, in general, they are but formal objects: their solution can be computed numerically only in some specific cases or perturbatively. This article is focused on the NMSSE themselves rather than on the open-system evolution they unravel and aims at making them less abstract. Namely, we propose to write the stochastic realizations of linear NMSSE as averages over the solutions of an auxiliary equation with an additional random field. Our method yields a non-perturbative numerical simulation algorithm for generic linear NMSSE that can be made arbitrarily accurate for reasonably short times. For isotropic complex noises, the method extends from linear to non-linear NMSSE and allows to sample the solutions of norm-preserving NMSSE directly.

Quantum 1, 29 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-09-19-29

]]>Non-Markovian stochastic Schrödinger equations (NMSSE) are important tools in quantum mechanics, from the theory of open systems to foundations. Yet, in general, they are but formal objects: their solution can be computed numerically only in some specific cases or perturbatively. This article is focused on the NMSSE themselves rather than on the open-system evolution they unravel and aims at making them less abstract. Namely, we propose to write the stochastic realizations of linear NMSSE as averages over the solutions of an auxiliary equation with an additional random field. Our method yields a non-perturbative numerical simulation algorithm for generic linear NMSSE that can be made arbitrarily accurate for reasonably short times. For isotropic complex noises, the method extends from linear to non-linear NMSSE and allows to sample the solutions of norm-preserving NMSSE directly.

]]>The qubit depolarizing channel with noise parameter $\eta$ transmits an input qubit perfectly with probability $1-\eta$, and outputs the completely mixed state with probability $\eta$. We show that its complementary channel has positive quantum capacity for all $\eta\gt 0$. Thus, we find that there exists a single parameter family of channels having the peculiar property of having positive quantum capacity even when the outputs of these channels approach a fixed state independent of the input. Comparisons with other related channels, and implications on the difficulty of studying the quantum capacity of the depolarizing channel are discussed.

Quantum 1, 28 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-09-19-28

]]>The qubit depolarizing channel with noise parameter $\eta$ transmits an input qubit perfectly with probability $1-\eta$, and outputs the completely mixed state with probability $\eta$. We show that its complementary channel has positive quantum capacity for all $\eta\gt 0$. Thus, we find that there exists a single parameter family of channels having the peculiar property of having positive quantum capacity even when the outputs of these channels approach a fixed state independent of the input. Comparisons with other related channels, and implications on the difficulty of studying the quantum capacity of the depolarizing channel are discussed.

]]>For improved security and privacy quantum-journal.org is now available under https://quantum-journal.org/ in ssl encrypted form with a trusted certificate. In this way, you can be sure that all information you see on quantum-journal.org actually comes from that website and that all form data you submit, such as searches or appeals, are uploaded in a secure fashion. ]]>

We establish general limits on how precise a parameter, e.g. frequency or the strength of a magnetic field, can be estimated with the aid of full and fast quantum control. We consider uncorrelated noisy evolutions of N qubits and show that fast control allows to fully restore the Heisenberg scaling (~1/N^2) for all rank-one Pauli noise except dephasing. For all other types of noise the asymptotic quantum enhancement is unavoidably limited to a constant-factor improvement over the standard quantum limit (~1/N) even when allowing for the full power of fast control. The latter holds both in the single-shot and infinitely-many repetitions scenarios. However, even in this case allowing for fast quantum control helps to increase the improvement factor. Furthermore, for frequency estimation with finite resource we show how a parallel scheme utilizing any fixed number of entangled qubits but no fast quantum control can be outperformed by a simple, easily implementable, sequential scheme which only requires entanglement between one sensing and one auxiliary qubit.

Quantum 1, 27 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-09-06-27

]]>We establish general limits on how precise a parameter, e.g. frequency or the strength of a magnetic field, can be estimated with the aid of full and fast quantum control. We consider uncorrelated noisy evolutions of N qubits and show that fast control allows to fully restore the Heisenberg scaling (~1/N^2) for all rank-one Pauli noise except dephasing. For all other types of noise the asymptotic quantum enhancement is unavoidably limited to a constant-factor improvement over the standard quantum limit (~1/N) even when allowing for the full power of fast control. The latter holds both in the single-shot and infinitely-many repetitions scenarios. However, even in this case allowing for fast quantum control helps to increase the improvement factor. Furthermore, for frequency estimation with finite resource we show how a parallel scheme utilizing any fixed number of entangled qubits but no fast quantum control can be outperformed by a simple, easily implementable, sequential scheme which only requires entanglement between one sensing and one auxiliary qubit.

]]>We give a new upper bound on the quantum query complexity of deciding $st$-connectivity on certain classes of planar graphs, and show the bound is sometimes exponentially better than previous results. We then show Boolean formula evaluation reduces to deciding connectivity on just such a class of graphs. Applying the algorithm for $st$-connectivity to Boolean formula evaluation problems, we match the $O(\sqrt{N})$ bound on the quantum query complexity of evaluating formulas on $N$ variables, give a quadratic speed-up over the classical query complexity of a certain class of promise Boolean formulas, and show this approach can yield superpolynomial quantum/classical separations. These results indicate that this $st$-connectivity-based approach may be the "right" way of looking at quantum algorithms for formula evaluation.

Quantum 1, 26 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-08-17-26

]]>We give a new upper bound on the quantum query complexity of deciding $st$-connectivity on certain classes of planar graphs, and show the bound is sometimes exponentially better than previous results. We then show Boolean formula evaluation reduces to deciding connectivity on just such a class of graphs. Applying the algorithm for $st$-connectivity to Boolean formula evaluation problems, we match the $O(\sqrt{N})$ bound on the quantum query complexity of evaluating formulas on $N$ variables, give a quadratic speed-up over the classical query complexity of a certain class of promise Boolean formulas, and show this approach can yield superpolynomial quantum/classical separations. These results indicate that this $st$-connectivity-based approach may be the "right" way of looking at quantum algorithms for formula evaluation.

]]>The minimal memory required to model a given stochastic process - known as the statistical complexity - is a widely adopted quantifier of structure in complexity science. Here, we ask if quantum mechanics can fundamentally change the qualitative behaviour of this measure. We study this question in the context of the classical Ising spin chain. In this system, the statistical complexity is known to grow monotonically with temperature. We evaluate the spin chain's quantum mechanical statistical complexity by explicitly constructing its provably simplest quantum model, and demonstrate that this measure exhibits drastically different behaviour: it rises to a maximum at some finite temperature then tends back towards zero for higher temperatures. This demonstrates how complexity, as captured by the amount of memory required to model a process, can exhibit radically different behaviour when quantum processing is allowed.

Quantum 1, 25 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-08-11-25

]]>The minimal memory required to model a given stochastic process - known as the statistical complexity - is a widely adopted quantifier of structure in complexity science. Here, we ask if quantum mechanics can fundamentally change the qualitative behaviour of this measure. We study this question in the context of the classical Ising spin chain. In this system, the statistical complexity is known to grow monotonically with temperature. We evaluate the spin chain's quantum mechanical statistical complexity by explicitly constructing its provably simplest quantum model, and demonstrate that this measure exhibits drastically different behaviour: it rises to a maximum at some finite temperature then tends back towards zero for higher temperatures. This demonstrates how complexity, as captured by the amount of memory required to model a process, can exhibit radically different behaviour when quantum processing is allowed.

]]>The production of quantum states required for use in quantum protocols & technologies is studied by developing the tools to re-engineer a perfect state transfer spin chain so that a separable input excitation is output over multiple sites. We concentrate in particular on cases where the excitation is superposed over a small subset of the qubits on the spin chain, known as fractional revivals, demonstrating that spin chains are capable of producing a far greater range of fractional revivals than previously known, at high speed. We also provide a numerical technique for generating chains that produce arbitrary single-excitation states, such as the W state.

Quantum 1, 24 (2017). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2017-08-10-24

]]>The production of quantum states required for use in quantum protocols & technologies is studied by developing the tools to re-engineer a perfect state transfer spin chain so that a separable input excitation is output over multiple sites. We concentrate in particular on cases where the excitation is superposed over a small subset of the qubits on the spin chain, known as fractional revivals, demonstrating that spin chains are capable of producing a far greater range of fractional revivals than previously known, at high speed. We also provide a numerical technique for generating chains that produce arbitrary single-excitation states, such as the W state.

]]>