results for au:Perarnau_Llobet_M in:quant-ph

- Jul 31 2017 quant-ph cond-mat.mes-hall arXiv:1707.09211v3The study of quantum thermal machines, and more generally of open quantum systems, often relies on master equations. Two approaches are mainly followed. On the one hand, there is the widely used, but often criticized, local approach, where machine sub-systems locally couple to thermal baths. On the other hand, in the more established global approach, thermal baths couple to global degrees of freedom of the machine. There has been debate as to which of these two conceptually different approaches should be used in situations out of thermal equilibrium. Here we compare the local and global approaches against an exact solution for a particular class of thermal machines. We consider thermodynamically relevant observables, such as heat currents, as well as the quantum state of the machine. Our results show that the use of a local master equation is generally well justified. In particular, for weak inter-system coupling, the local approach agrees with the exact solution, whereas the global approach fails for non-equilibrium situations. For intermediate coupling, the local and the global approach both agree with the exact solution and for strong coupling, the global approach is preferable. These results are backed by detailed derivations of the regimes of validity for the respective approaches.
- May 01 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1704.08702v2The quantum master equation is a widespread approach to describing open quantum system dynamics. In this approach, the effect of the environment on the system evolution is entirely captured by the dynamical generator providing a compact and versatile description. However, care needs to be taken when several noise processes act simultaneously or the Hamiltonian evolution of the system is modified. Here, we show that generators can be added at the master equation level without compromising physicality only under restrictive conditions. Moreover, even when adding generators results in legitimate dynamics, this does not generally correspond to the true evolution of the system. We establish general conditions under which direct addition of dynamical generators is justified, showing that it is ensured under weak coupling and for settings where the free system Hamiltonian and all system-environment interactions commute. In all other cases, we demonstrate by counterexamples that the exact evolution derived microscopically cannot be guaranteed to coincide with the dynamics naively obtained by adding the generators.
- Apr 21 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1704.05864v1We derive general limitations concerning efficiency and power of heat engines strongly coupled to thermal baths. We build this framework on the insight that quantum systems strongly coupled to many-body systems will equilibrate to the reduced state of a global thermal state, deviating from the local thermal state of the system as it occurs in the weak-coupling limit. Taking this observation as the starting point of our analysis, we first provide strong-coupling corrections to the second law in three of its different readings: As a statement of maximal extractable work, on heat dissipation, and bound to the Carnot efficiency. The corrections identified become relevant for small quantum systems and always vanish in first order in the interaction strength. We then move to the question of power of heat engines, obtaining a bound on the power enhancement due to strong coupling. To exemplify our results, we discuss the implications on the paradigmatic situation of non-Markovian quantum Brownian motion.
- Mar 13 2017 quant-ph cond-mat.mes-hall arXiv:1703.03719v2We propose the use of a quantum thermal machine for low-temperature thermometry. A hot thermal reservoir coupled to the machine allows for simultaneously cooling the sample while determining its temperature without knowing the model-dependent coupling constants. In its most simple form, the proposed scheme works for all thermal machines which perform at Otto efficiency and can reach Carnot efficiency. We consider a circuit QED implementation which allows for precise thermometry down to $\sim$15 mK with realistic parameters. Based on the quantum Fisher information, this is close to the optimal achievable performance. This implementation demonstrates that our proposal is particularly promising in systems where thermalization between different components of an experimental setup cannot be guaranteed.
- Dec 01 2016 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1611.10123v2We consider the problem of estimating the temperature $ T $ of a very cold equilibrium sample. The temperature estimates are drawn from measurements performed on a quantum probe srongly coupled to it. We model this scenario by resorting to the canonical Caldeira-Leggett Hamiltonian and find analytically the exact stationary state of the probe for arbitrary coupling strength. In general, the probe does not reach thermal equilibrium with the sample, due to their non-perturbative interaction. We argue that this is advantageous for low temperature thermometry, as we show in our model that: (i) The thermometric precision at low $ T $ can be significantly enhanced by strengthening the probe-sampling coupling, (ii) the variance of a suitable quadrature of our Brownian thermometer can yield temperature estimates with nearly minimal statistical uncertainty, and (iii) the spectral density of the probe-sample coupling may be engineered to further improve thermometric performance. These observations may find applications in practical nanoscale thermometry at low temperatures---a regime which is particularly relevant to quantum technologies.
- Nov 24 2016 quant-ph arXiv:1611.07937v3The possibility of performing simultaneous measurements in quantum mechanics is investigated in the context of the Curie-Weiss model for a projective measurement. Concretely, we consider a spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ system simultaneously interacting with two magnets, which act as measuring apparatuses of two different spin components. We work out the dynamics of this process and determine the final state of the measuring apparatuses, from which we can find the probabilities of the four possible outcomes of the measurements. The measurement is found to be non-ideal, as (i) the joint statistics do not coincide with the one obtained by separately measuring each spin component, and (ii) the density matrix of the spin does not collapse in either of the measured observables. However, we give an operational interpretation of the process as a generalised quantum measurement, and show that it is fully informative: The expected value of the measured spin components can be found with arbitrary precision for sufficiently many runs of the experiment.
- Jul 19 2016 quant-ph cond-mat.mes-hall arXiv:1607.05218v2An implementation of a small quantum absorption refrigerator in a circuit QED architecture is proposed. The setup consists of three harmonic oscillators coupled to a Josephson unction. The refrigerator is autonomous in the sense that it does not require any external control for cooling, but only thermal contact between the oscillators and heat baths at different temperatures. In addition, the setup features a built-in switch, which allows the cooling to be turned on and off. If timing control is available, this enables the possibility for coherence-enhanced cooling. Finally, we show that significant cooling can be achieved with experimentally realistic parameters and that our setup should be within reach of current technology.
- Jun 28 2016 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1606.08368v3An open question of fundamental importance in thermodynamics is how to describe the fluctuations of work for quantum coherent processes. In the standard approach, based on a projective energy measurement both at the beginning and at the end of the process, the first measurement destroys any initial coherence in the energy basis. Here we seek for extensions of this approach which can possibly account for initially coherent states. We consider all measurement schemes to estimate work and require that (i) the difference of average energy corresponds to average work for closed quantum systems, and that (ii) the work statistics agree with the standard two-measurement scheme for states with no coherence in the energy basis. We first show that such a scheme cannot exist. Next, we consider the possibility of performing collective measurements on several copies of the state and prove that it is still impossible to satisfy simultaneously requirements (i) and (ii). Nevertheless, improvements do appear, and in particular we develop a measurement scheme which acts simultaneously on two copies of the state and allows to describe a whole class of coherent transformations.
- Recent years have seen an enormously revived interest in the study of thermodynamic notions in the quantum regime. This applies both to the study of notions of work extraction in thermal machines in the quantum regime, as well as to questions of equilibration and thermalisation of interacting quantum many-body systems as such. In this work we bring together these two lines of research by studying work extraction in a closed system that undergoes a sequence of quenches and equilibration steps concomitant with free evolutions. In this way, we incorporate an important insight from the study of the dynamics of quantum many body systems: the evolution of closed systems is expected to be well described, for relevant observables and most times, by a suitable equilibrium state. We will consider three kinds of equilibration, namely to (i) the time averaged state, (ii) the Gibbs ensemble and (iii) the generalised Gibbs ensemble (GGE), reflecting further constants of motion in integrable models. For each effective description, we investigate notions of entropy production, the validity of the minimal work principle and properties of optimal work extraction protocols. While we keep the discussion general, much room is dedicated to the discussion of paradigmatic non-interacting fermionic quantum many-body systems, for which we identify significant differences with respect to the role of the minimal work principle. Our work not only has implications for experiments with cold atoms, but also can be viewed as suggesting a mindset for quantum thermodynamics where the role of the external heat baths is instead played by the system itself, with its internal degrees of freedom bringing coarse-grained observables to equilibrium.
- Nov 30 2015 quant-ph arXiv:1511.08654v2A fundamental connection between thermodynamics and information theory arises from the fact that correlations exhibit an inherent work value. For noninteracting systems this translates to a work cost for establishing correlations. Here we investigate the relationship between work and correlations in the presence of interactions that cannot be controlled or removed. For such naturally coupled systems, which are correlated even in thermal equilibrium, we determine general strategies that can reduce the work cost of correlations, and illustrate these for a selection of exemplary physical systems.
- Jun 15 2015 cond-mat.stat-mech quant-ph arXiv:1506.04060v2In traditional thermodynamics, temperature is a local quantity: a subsystem of a large thermal system is in a thermal state at the same temperature as the original system. For strongly interacting systems, however, the locality of temperature breaks down. We study the possibility of associating an effective thermal state to subsystems of infinite chains of interacting spin particles of arbitrary finite dimension. We study the effect of correlations and criticality in the definition of this effective thermal state and discuss the possible implications for the classical simulation of thermal quantum systems.
- Feb 26 2015 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1502.07311v2Passive states are defined as those states that do not allow for work extraction in a cyclic (unitary) process. Within the set of passive states, thermal states are the most stable ones: they maximize the entropy for a given energy, and similarly they minimize the energy for a given entropy. Here we find the passive states lying in the other extreme, i.e., those that maximize the energy for a given entropy, which we show also minimize the entropy when the energy is fixed. These extremal properties make these states useful to obtain fundamental bounds for the thermodynamics of finite-dimensional quantum systems, which we show in several scenarios.
- Sep 17 2014 quant-ph arXiv:1409.4647v2We establish a rigorous connection between fundamental resource theories at the quantum scale. Correlations and entanglement constitute indispensable resources for numerous quantum information tasks. However, their establishment comes at the cost of energy, the resource of thermodynamics, and is limited by the initial entropy. Here, the optimal conversion of energy into correlations is investigated. Assuming the presence of a thermal bath, we establish general bounds for arbitrary systems and construct a protocol saturating them. The amount of correlations, quantified by the mutual information, can increase at most linearly with the available energy, and we determine where the linear regime breaks down. We further consider the generation of genuine quantum correlations, focusing on the fundamental constituents of our universe: fermions and bosons. For fermionic modes, we find the optimal entangling protocol. For bosonic modes, we show that while Gaussian operations can be outperformed in creating entanglement, their performance is optimal for high energies.
- Jul 30 2014 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1407.7765v3Work and quantum correlations are two fundamental resources in thermodynamics and quantum information theory. In this work we study how to use correlations among quantum systems to optimally store work. We analyse this question for isolated quantum ensembles, where the work can be naturally divided into two contributions: a local contribution from each system, and a global contribution originating from correlations among systems. We focus on the latter and consider quantum systems which are locally thermal, thus from which any extractable work can only come from correlations. We compute the maximum extractable work for general entangled states, separable states, and states with fixed entropy. Our results show that while entanglement gives an advantage for small quantum ensembles, this gain vanishes for a large number of systems.
- Jun 23 2014 quant-ph cond-mat.mes-hall arXiv:1406.5178v1In textbooks, ideal quantum measurements are described in terms of the tested system only by the collapse postulate and Born's rule. This level of description offers a rather flexible position for the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here we analyse an ideal measurement as a process of interaction between the tested system S and an apparatus A, so as to derive the properties postulated in textbooks. We thus consider within standard quantum mechanics the measurement of a quantum spin component $\hat s_z$ by an apparatus A, being a magnet coupled to a bath. We first consider the evolution of the density operator of S+A describing a large set of runs of the measurement process. The approach describes the disappearance of the off-diagonal terms ("truncation") of the density matrix as a physical effect due to A, while the registration of the outcome has classical features due to the large size of the pointer variable, the magnetisation. A quantum ambiguity implies that the density matrix at the final time can be decomposed on many bases, not only the one of the measurement. This quantum oddity prevents to connect individual outcomes to measurements, a difficulty known as the "measurement problem". It is shown that it is circumvented by the apparatus as well, since the evolution in a small time interval erases all decompositions, except the one on the measurement basis. Once one can derive the outcome of individual events from quantum theory, the so-called "collapse of the wave function" or the "reduction of the state" appears as the result of a selection of runs among the original large set. Hence nothing more than standard quantum mechanics is needed to explain features of measurements. The employed statistical formulation is advocated for the teaching of quantum theory.
- Apr 09 2014 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1404.2169v2We investigate the fundamental limitations imposed by thermodynamics for creating correlations. Considering a collection of initially uncorrelated thermal quantum systems, we ask how much classical and quantum correlations can be obtained via a cyclic Hamiltonian process. We derive bounds on both the mutual information and entanglement of formation, as a function of the temperature of the systems and the available energy. While for a finite number of systems there is a maximal temperature allowing for the creation of entanglement, we show that genuine multipartite entanglement---the strongest form of entanglement in multipartite systems---can be created at any temperature when sufficiently many systems are considered. This approach may find applications, e.g. in quantum information processing, for physical platforms in which thermodynamic considerations cannot be ignored.
- Jul 15 2013 quant-ph arXiv:1307.3541v2We review and generalize the recently introduced framework of entropy vectors for detecting and quantifying genuine multipartite entanglement in high dimensional multicomponent quantum systems. We show that these ideas can be extended to discriminate among other forms of multipartite entanglement. In particular, we develop methods to test whether density matrices are: decomposable, i.\ e.\ separable with respect to certain given partitions of the subsystems; $k$-separable, i.\ e.\ separable with respect to $k$ partitions of the subsystems; $k$-partite entangled, i.e. there is entanglement among a subset of at least $k$ parties. We also discuss how to asses the dimensionality of entanglement in all these cases.
- Apr 09 2013 quant-ph arXiv:1304.2246v2We devise powerful algorithms based on differential evolution for adaptive many-particle quantum metrology. Our new approach delivers adaptive quantum metrology policies for feedback control that are orders-of-magnitude more efficient and surpass the few-dozen-particle limitation arising in methods based on particle-swarm optimization. We apply our method to the binary-decision-tree model for quantum-enhanced phase estimation as well as to a new problem: a decision tree for adaptive estimation of the unknown bias of a quantum coin in a quantum walk and show how this latter case can be realized experimentally.
- Mar 20 2013 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1303.4686v2We consider reversible work extraction from identical quantum batteries. From an ensemble of individually passive states, work can be produced only via global unitary (and thus entangling) operations. However, we show here that there always exists a method to extract all possible work without creating any entanglement, at the price of generically requiring more operations (i.e. additional time). We then study faster methods to extract work and provide a quantitative relation between the amount of generated multipartite entanglement and extractable work. Our results suggest a general relation between entanglement generation and the power of work extraction.