results for au:Pollock_F in:quant-ph

- Mar 01 2018 quant-ph arXiv:1802.10344v2It is common, when dealing with quantum processes involving a subsystem of a much larger composite closed system, to treat them as effectively memory-less (Markovian). While open systems theory tells us that non-Markovian processes should be the norm, the ubiquity of Markovian processes is undeniable. Here, without resorting to the Born-Markov assumption of weak coupling or making any approximations, we formally prove that typical processes are exponentially close to Markovian ones when the subsystem is sufficiently small compared to the remainder of the composite. We also show that, for a fixed global system size, it may not be possible to neglect non-Markovian effects when the process is allowed to continue for long enough. However, detecting non-Markovianity for such processes would usually require non-trivial entangling resources. Our results have foundational importance, as they give birth to Markov processes from composite closed dynamics.
- Feb 12 2018 quant-ph arXiv:1802.03190v2We develop a notion of stochastic quantum trajectories. First, we construct a basis set of trajectories, called elementary trajectories, and go on to show that any quantum dynamical process, including those that are non-Markovian, can be expressed as a linear combination of this set. We then show that the set of processes divides into two natural classes: those that can be expressed as a convex mixture of elementary trajectories and those that cannot be. The former are shown to be entanglement breaking processes (in each step), while the latter are dubbed coherent processes. This division of processes is analogous to separable and entangled states. In the second half of the paper, we show, with an information theoretic game, that when a process is non-Markovian, coherent trajectories allow for decoupling from the environment while preserving arbitrary quantum information encoded into the system. We give explicit expressions for the temporal correlations (quantifying non-Markovianity) and show that, in general, there are more quantum correlations than classical ones. This shows that non-Markovian quantum processes are indeed fundamentally different from their classical counterparts. Furthermore, we demonstrate how coherent trajectories (with the aid of coherent control) can turn non-Markovianity into a resource. In the final section of the paper we explore this phenomenon in a geometric picture with a convenient set of basis trajectories.
- Jan 31 2018 quant-ph arXiv:1801.09811v1We derive a necessary and sufficient condition for a quantum process to be Markovian which coincides with the classical one in the relevant limit. Our condition unifies all previously known definitions for quantum Markov processes by accounting for all potentially detectable memory effects. We then derive a family of measures of non-Markovianity with clear operational interpretations, such as the size of the memory required to simulate a process, or the experimental falsifiability of a Markovian hypothesis.
- Dec 22 2017 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1712.08143v1The problem of estimating the frequency of a two-level atom in a noisy environment is studied. Our interest is to minimise both the energetic cost of the protocol and the statistical uncertainty of the estimate. In particular, we prepare a probe in a "GHZ-diagonal" state by means of a sequence of qubit gates applied on an ensemble of $ n $ atoms in thermal equilibrium. Noise is introduced via a phenomenological time-nonlocal quantum master equation, which gives rise to a phase-covariant dissipative dynamics. After an interval of free evolution, the $ n $-atom probe is globally measured at an interrogation time chosen to minimise the error bars of the final estimate. We model explicitly a measurement scheme which becomes optimal in a suitable parameter range, and are thus able to calculate the total energetic expenditure of the protocol. Interestingly, we observe that scaling up our multipartite entangled probes offers no precision enhancement when the total available energy $ \mathcal{E} $ is limited. This is at stark contrast with standard frequency estimation, where larger probes---more sensitive but also more "expensive" to prepare---are always preferred. Replacing $ \mathcal{E} $ by the resource that places the most stringent limitation on each specific experimental setup, would thus help to formulate more realistic metrological prescriptions.
- Dec 22 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1712.08142v1We consider frequency estimation in a noisy environment with noisy probes. This builds on previous studies, which mostly either assume that the initial probe state is pure, while the encoding process is noisy, or that the initial probe state is mixed, while the encoding process is noiseless. Thus our work is more representative of reality, where noise is unavoidable in both the initial state of the probe and the estimation process itself. We prepare the probe in a GHZ diagonal state, starting from $n+1$ qubits in an arbitrary uncorrelated mixed state, and subject it to parameter encoding under dephasing noise. For this scheme, we derive a simple formula for the (quantum and classical) Fisher information, and show that quantum enhancements do not depend on the initial mixedness of the qubits. That is, we show that the `Zeno' scaling is attainable when the noise present in the encoding process is non-Markovian. This scaling does not depend on the mixedness of the initial probe state, and it is retained even for highly mixed states that can never be entangled. We then show that the sensitivity of the probe in our protocol is invariant under permutations of qubits, and monotonic in purity of the initial state of the probe. Finally, we discuss two limiting cases that we dub communist and capitalists protocols.
- Dec 12 2017 quant-ph cond-mat.other arXiv:1712.03559v1Recently, it has been shown that energy can be deposited on a collection of quantum systems at a rate that scales super-extensively. Some of these schemes for `quantum batteries' rely on the use of global many-body interactions that take the batteries through a correlated short cut in state space. Here, we extend the notion of a quantum battery from a collection of a priori isolated systems to a many-body quantum system with intrinsic interactions. Specifically, we consider a one-dimensional spin chain with physically realistic two-body interactions. We find that the spin-spin interactions can yield an advantage in charging power over the non-interacting case, and we demonstrate that this advantage can grow super-extensively when the interactions are long ranged. However, we show that, unlike in previous work, this advantage is a mean-field interaction effect that does not involve correlations and that relies on the interactions being intrinsic to the battery.
- Dec 08 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1712.02589v1In classical physics, the Kolmogorov extension theorem provides the foundation for the definition and investigation of stochastic processes. In its original form, it does not hold in quantum mechanics. More generally, it does not hold in any theory -- classical, quantum or beyond -- of stochastic processes that does not just describe passive observations, but allows for active interventions. Thus, to date, these frameworks lack a firm theoretical underpinning. We prove a generalized extension theorem for stochastic processes that applies to all theories of stochastic processes, putting them on equally firm mathematical ground as their classical counterpart, and providing the correct framework for the description of experiments involving continuous control, which play a crucial role in the development of quantum technologies. Furthermore, we show that the original extension theorem follows from the generalised one in the correct limit, and elucidate how the comprehensive understanding of general stochastic processes allows one to unambiguously define the distinction between those that are classical and those that are quantum.
- Nov 15 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1711.04065v1Quantum mechanics, in principle, allows for processes with indefinite causal order. However, most of these causal anomalies have not yet been detected experimentally. We show that every such process can be simulated experimentally by means of non-Markovian dynamics with a measurement on additional degrees of freedom. Explicitly, we provide a constructive scheme to implement arbitrary acausal processes. Furthermore, we give necessary and sufficient conditions for open system dynamics with measurement to yield processes that respect causality locally, and find that tripartite entanglement and nonlocal unitary transformations are crucial requirements for the simulation of causally indefinite processes. These results show a direct connection between three counter-intuitive concepts: non-Markovianity, entanglement, and causal indefiniteness.
- Sep 27 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1709.08941v2Conventional quantum speed limits perform poorly for mixed quantum states: They are generally not tight and often significantly underestimate the fastest possible evolution speed. To remedy this, for unitary driving, we derive two quantum speed limits that outperform the traditional bounds for almost all quantum states. Moreover, our bounds are significantly simpler to compute as well as experimentally more accessible. Our bounds have a clear geometric interpretation; they arise from the evaluation of the angle between generalized Bloch vectors.
- Aug 03 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1708.00769v1In the summer of 2016, physicists gathered in Torun, Poland for the 48th annual Symposium on Mathematical Physics. This Symposium was special; it celebrated the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the Gorini-Kossakowski-Sudarshan-Lindblad master equation, which is widely used in quantum physics and quantum chemistry. This article forms part of a Special Volume of the journal Open Systems & Information Dynamics arising from that conference; and it aims to celebrate a related discovery -- also by Sudarshan -- that of Quantum Maps (which had their 55th anniversary in the same year). Nowadays, much like the master equation, quantum maps are ubiquitous in physics and chemistry. Their importance in quantum information and related fields cannot be overstated. In this manuscript, we motivate quantum maps from a tomographic perspective, and derive their well-known representations. We then dive into the murky world beyond these maps, where recent research has yielded their generalisation to non-Markovian quantum processes.
- Apr 21 2017 quant-ph arXiv:1704.06204v2Memory effects in open quantum dynamics are often incorporated in the equation of motion through a superoperator known as the memory kernel, which encodes how past states affect future dynamics. However, the usual prescription for determining the memory kernel requires information about the underlying system-environment dynamics. Here, by deriving the transfer tensor method from first principles, we show how a memory kernel master equation, for any quantum process, can be entirely expressed in terms of a family of completely positive dynamical maps. These can be reconstructed through quantum process tomography on the system alone, either experimentally or numerically, and the resulting equation of motion is equivalent to a generalised Nakajima-Zwanzig equation. For experimental settings, we give a full prescription for the reconstruction procedure, rendering the memory kernel operational. When simulation of an open system is the goal, we show how our procedure yields a considerable advantage for numerically calculating dynamics, even when the system is driven or initially correlated with its environment. Namely, we show that the long time dynamics can be efficiently obtained from a set of reconstructed maps over a much shorter time.
- Dec 16 2016 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1612.04991v2Can collective quantum effects make a difference in a meaningful thermodynamic operation? Focusing on energy storage and batteries, we demonstrate that quantum mechanics can lead to an enhancement in the amount of work deposited per unit time, i.e., the charging power, when $N$ batteries are charged collectively. We first derive analytic upper bounds for the collective \emphquantum advantage in charging power for two choices of constraints on the charging Hamiltonian. We then highlight the importance of entanglement by proving that the quantum advantage vanishes when the collective state of the batteries is restricted to be in the separable ball. Finally, we provide an upper bound to the achievable quantum advantage when the interaction order is restricted, i.e., at most $k$ batteries are interacting. Our result is a fundamental limit on the advantage offered by quantum technologies over their classical counterparts as far as energy deposition is concerned.
- We study how single- and double-slit interference patterns fall in the presence of gravity. First, we demonstrate that universality of free fall still holds in this case, i.e., interference patterns fall just like classical objects. Next, we explore lowest order relativistic effects in the Newtonian regime by employing a recent quantum formalism which treats mass as an operator. This leads to interactions between non-degenerate internal degrees of freedom (like spin in an external magnetic field) and external degrees of freedom (like position). Based on these effects, we present an unusual phenomenon, in which a falling double slit interference pattern periodically decoheres and recoheres. The oscillations in the visibility of this interference occur due to correlations built up between spin and position. Finally, we connect the interference visibility revivals with non-Markovian quantum dynamics.
- Oct 10 2016 quant-ph arXiv:1610.02152v1The dynamics of an open quantum system can be fully described and tomographically reconstructed if the experimenter has complete control over the system of interest. Most real-world experiments do not fulfill this assumption, and the amount of control is restricted by the experimental set-up. That is, the set of performable manipulations of the system is limited. For instance, imagine a set-up where unitary operations are easy to make, but only one measurement at the end of the experiment is allowed. In this paper, we provide a general reconstruction scheme that yields operationally well-defined dynamics for any conceivable kind of experimental situation. If one additional operation can be performed, these `restricted' dynamics allow for the construction of witnesses for initial correlations and the presence of memory effects. We demonstrate the applicability of our framework for the the two important cases where the set of performable operations comprises only unitary operations or projective measurement, respectively, and show that it provides a powerful tool for the description of quantum control experiments.
- Currently, there is no systematic way to describe a quantum process with memory solely in terms of experimentally accessible quantities. However, recent technological advances mean we have control over systems at scales where memory effects are non-negligible. The lack of such an operational description has hindered advances in understanding physical, chemical and biological processes, where often unjustified theoretical assumptions are made to render a dynamical description tractable. This has led to theories plagued with unphysical results and no consensus on what a quantum Markov (memoryless) process is. Here, we develop a universal framework to characterise arbitrary non-Markovian quantum processes. We show how a multi-time non-Markovian process can be reconstructed experimentally, and that it has a natural representation as a many body quantum state, where temporal correlations are mapped to spatial ones. Moreover, this state is expected to have an efficient matrix product operator form in many cases. Our framework constitutes a systematic tool for the effective description of memory-bearing open-system evolutions.
- We propose a simple experimental test of the quantum equivalence principle introduced by Zych and Brukner [arXiv:1502.00971], which generalises the Einstein equivalence principle to superpositions of internal energy states. We consider a harmonically-trapped spin-$\frac12$ atom in the presence of both gravity and an external magnetic field and show that when the external magnetic field is suddenly switched off, various violations of the equivalence principle would manifest as otherwise forbidden transitions. Performing such an experiment would put bounds on the various phenomenological violating parameters. We further demonstrate that the classical weak equivalence principle can be tested by suddenly putting the apparatus into free fall, effectively 'switching off' gravity.
- Oct 29 2015 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech arXiv:1510.08219v2In a generalised framework for the Landauer erasure protocol, we study bounds on the heat dissipated in typical nonequilibrium quantum processes. In contrast to thermodynamic processes, quantum fluctuations are not suppressed in the nonequilibrium regime and cannot be ignored, making such processes difficult to understand and treat. Here, we derive an emergent fluctuation relation that virtually guarantees the average heat produced to be dissipated into the reservoir when either the system or reservoir is large (or both), or when the temperature is high. The implication of our result is that second law-like behaviour appears for nonequilibrium processes exponentially quickly in the dimension of the larger subsystem and linearly in the inverse temperature. We achieve these results by generalising a concentration of measure relation for subsystem states to the case where the global state is mixed.
- Oct 16 2015 quant-ph arXiv:1510.04425v2We give strong evidence that divisibility of qubit quantum processes implies temporal Tsirelson's bound. We also give strong evidence that the classical bound of the temporal Bell's inequality holds for dynamics that can be described by entanglement-breaking channels---a more general class of dynamics than that allowed by classical physics.
- Jul 20 2015 quant-ph arXiv:1507.05051v2Complex mesoscopic systems play increasingly important roles in modern science -- from understanding biological functions at the molecular level, to designing solid-state information processing devices. The operation of these systems typically depends on their energetic structure, yet probing their energy-landscape can be extremely challenging; they have many degrees of freedom, which may be hard to isolate and measure independently. Here we show that a qubit (a two-level quantum system) with a biased energy-splitting can directly probe the spectral properties of a complex system, without knowledge of how they couple. Our work is based on the completely-positive and trace-preserving map formalism, which treats any unknown dynamics as a `black-box' process. This black box contains information about the system with which the probe interacts, which we access by measuring the survival probability of the initial state of the probe as function of the energy-splitting and the process time. Fourier transforming the results yields the energy spectrum of the complex system. Without making assumptions about the strength or form of its coupling, our probe could determine aspects of a complex molecule's energy landscape as well as, in many cases, test for coherent superposition of its energy eigenstates.
- Motivated by a proposed olfactory mechanism based on a vibrationally-activated molecular switch, we study electron transport within a donor-acceptor pair that is coupled to a vibrational mode and embedded in a surrounding environment. We derive a polaron master equation with which we study the dynamics of both the electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom beyond previously employed semiclassical (Marcus-Jortner) rate analyses. We show: (i) that in the absence of explicit dissipation of the vibrational mode, the semiclassical approach is generally unable to capture the dynamics predicted by our master equation due to both its assumption of one-way (exponential) electron transfer from donor to acceptor and its neglect of the spectral details of the environment; (ii) that by additionally allowing strong dissipation to act on the odorant vibrational mode we can recover exponential electron transfer, though typically at a rate that differs from that given by the Marcus-Jortner expression; (iii) that the ability of the molecular switch to discriminate between the presence and absence of the odorant, and its sensitivity to the odorant vibrational frequency, are enhanced significantly in this strong dissipation regime, when compared to the case without mode dissipation; and (iv) that details of the environment absent from previous Marcus-Jortner analyses can also dramatically alter the sensitivity of the molecular switch, in particular allowing its frequency resolution to be improved. Our results thus demonstrate the constructive role dissipation can play in facilitating sensitive and selective operation in molecular switch devices, as well as the inadequacy of semiclassical rate equations in analysing such behaviour over a wide range of parameters.
- Unitary transformations can allow one to study open quantum systems in situations for which standard, weak-coupling type approximations are not valid. We develop here an extension of the variational (polaron) transformation approach to open system dynamics, which applies to arbitrarily large exciton transport networks with local environments. After deriving a time-local master equation in the transformed frame, we go on to compare the population dynamics predicted using our technique with other established master equations. The variational frame dynamics are found to agree with both weak coupling and full polaron master equations in their respective regions of validity. In parameter regimes considered difficult for these methods, the dynamics predicted by our technique are found to interpolate between the two. The variational method thus gives insight, across a broad range of parameters, into the competition between coherent and incoherent processes in determining the dynamical behaviour of energy transfer networks.
- Sep 14 2012 quant-ph arXiv:1209.2731v4It is well known that a quantum correlated probe can yield better precision in estimating an unknown parameter than classically possible. However, how such a quantum probe should be measured remains somewhat elusive. We examine the role of measurements in quantum metrology by considering two types of readout strategies: coherent, where all probes are measured simultaneously in an entangled basis; and adaptive, where probes are measured sequentially, with each measurement one way conditioned on the prior outcomes. Here we firstly show that for classically correlated probes the two readout strategies yield the same precision. Secondly, we construct an example of a noisy multipartite quantum system where coherent readout yields considerably better precision than adaptive readout. This highlights a fundamental difference between classical and quantum parameter estimation. From the practical point of view, our findings are relevant for the optimal design of precision-measurement quantum devices.
- Today's most popular techniques for accurately calculating the dynamics of the reduced density operator in an open quantum system, either require, or gain great computational benefits, from representing the bath response function a(t) in the form a(t)=\Sigma_k^K p_k e^O_k t . For some of these techniques, the number of terms in the series K plays the lead role in the computational cost of the calculation, and is therefore often a limiting factor in simulating open quantum system dynamics. We present an open source MATLAB program called BATHFIT 1, whose input is any spectral distribution functions J(w) or bath response function, and whose output attempts to be the set of parameters p_k,w_k_k=1^K such that for a given value of K, the series \Sigma_k^k p_k e^O_k t is as close as possible to a(t). This should allow the user to represent a(t) as accurately as possible with as few parameters as possible. The program executes non-linear least squares fitting, and for a very wide variety of spectral distribution functions, competent starting parameters are used for these fits. For most forms of J(w), these starting parameters, and the exact a(t) corresponding to the given J(w), are calculated using the recent Pade decomposition technique - therefore this program can also be used to merely implement the Pade decomposition for these spectral distribution functions; and it can also be used just to efficiently and accurately calculate a(t) for any given J(w) . The program also gives the J(w) corresponding to a given a(t), which may allow one to assess the quality (in the w-domain) of a representation of a(t) being used. Finally, the program can calculate the discretized influence functional coefficients for any J(w), and this is computed very efficiently for most forms of J(w) by implementing the recent technique published in [Quantum Physics Letters (2012) 1 (1) pg. 35].
- Mar 21 2012 quant-ph cond-mat.stat-mech math-ph math.MP physics.chem-ph physics.comp-ph arXiv:1203.4551v1Fully analytic formulas, which do not involve any numerical integration, are derived for the discretized influence functionals of a very extensive assortment of spectral distributions. For Feynman integrals derived using the Trotter splitting and Strang splitting, we present general formulas for the discretized influence functionals in terms of proper integrals of the bath response function. When an analytic expression exists for the bath response function, these integrals can almost always be evaluated analytically. In cases where these proper integrals cannot be integrated analytically, numerically computing them is much faster and less error-prone than calculating the discretized influence functionals in the traditional way, which involves numerically calculating integrals whose bounds are both infinite. As an example, we present the analytic discretized influence functional for a bath response function of the form \alpha(t)=\sum_j^Kp_je^\Omega_jt, which is a natural form for many spectral distribution functions (including the very popular Lorentz-Drude/Debye function), and for other spectral distribution functions it is a form that is easily obtainable by a least-squares fit . Evaluating our analytic formulas for this example case is much faster and easier to implement than numerically calculating the discretized influence funcitonal in the traditional way. In the appendix we provide analytic expressions for p_j and \Omega_j for a variety of spectral distribution forms, and as a second example we provide the analytic bath response function and analytic influence functionals for spectral distributions of the form J(\omega)∝\omega^se^-(\omega/\omega_c)^q. The value of the analytic expression for this bath response function extends beyond its use for calculating Feynman integrals.