We study gradient magnetometry with an ensemble of atoms with arbitrary spin. We consider the case of a very general spatial probability distribution function. We calculate precision bounds for estimating the gradient of the magnetic field based on the quantum Fisher information. For quantum states that are invariant under homogeneous magnetic fields, we need to measure a single observable to estimate the gradient. On the other hand, for states that are sensitive to homogeneous fields, the measurement of two observables are needed, as the homogeneous field must also be estimated. This leads to a two-parameter estimation problem. We present a method to calculate precision bounds for gradient estimation with a chain of atoms or with two spatially separated atomic ensembles feeling different magnetic fields. We also consider a single atomic ensemble with an arbitrary density profile, in which the atoms cannot be addressed individually, and which is a very relevant case for experiments. Our model can take into account even correlations between particle positions.

The evanescent field outside an optical nanofiber (ONF) can create optical traps for neutral atoms. We present a non-destructive method to characterize such trapping potentials. An off-resonance linearly polarized probe beam that propagates through the ONF experiences a slow axis of polarization produced by trapped atoms on opposite sides along the ONF. The transverse atomic motion is imprinted onto the probe polarization through the changing atomic index of of refraction. By applying a transient impulse, we measure a time-dependent polarization rotation of the probe beam that provides both a rapid and non-destructive measurement of the optical trapping frequencies.

We develop a general theory to estimate magnetic field gradients in quantum metrology. We consider a system of $N$ particles distributed on a line whose internal degrees of freedom interact with a magnetic field. Classically, gradient estimation is based on precise measurements of the magnetic field at two different locations, performed with two independent groups of particles. This approach, however, is sensitive to fluctuations of the off-set field determining the level-splitting of the ions and therefore suffers from collective dephasing, so we concentrate on states which are insensitive to these fluctuations. States from the decoherence-free subspace (DFS) allow to measure the gradient directly, without estimating the magnetic field. We use the framework of quantum metrology to assess the maximal accuracy of the precision of gradient estimation. We find that states from the DFS achieve the highest measurement sensitivity, as quantified by the quantum Fisher information and find measurements saturating the quantum Cram\'er-Rao bound.

We study topological defects in anisotropic ferromagnets with competing interactions near the Lifshitz point. We show that skyrmions and bi-merons are stable in a large part of the phase diagram. We calculate skyrmion-skyrmion and meron-meron interactions and show that skyrmions attract each other and form ring-shaped bound states in a zero magnetic field. At the Lifshitz point merons carrying a fractional topological charge become deconfined. These results imply that unusual topological excitations may exist in weakly frustrated magnets with conventional crystal lattices.

This paper deals with the theory of collisions between two ultracold particles with a special focus on molecules. It describes the general features of the scattering theory of two particles with internal structure, using a time-independent quantum formalism. It starts from the Schr\"odinger equation and introduces the experimental observables such as the differential or integral cross sections, and rate coefficients. Using a partial-wave expansion of the scattering wavefunction, the radial motion of the collision is described through a linear system of coupled equations, which is solved numerically. Using a matching procedure of the scattering wavefunction with its asymptotic form, the observables such as cross sections and rate coefficients are obtained from the extraction of the reactance, scattering and transition matrices. The example of the collision of two dipolar molecules in the presence of an electric field is presented, showing how dipolar interactions and collisions can be controlled.

Matrix Product Vectors form the appropriate framework to study and classify one-dimensional quantum systems. In this work, we develop the structure theory of Matrix Product Unitary operators (MPUs) which appear e.g. in the description of time evolutions of one-dimensional systems. We prove that all MPUs have a strict causal cone, making them Quantum Cellular Automata (QCAs), and derive a canonical form for MPUs which relates different MPU representations of the same unitary through a local gauge. We use this canonical form to prove an Index Theorem for MPUs which gives the precise conditions under which two MPUs are adiabatically connected, providing an alternative derivation to that of [Commun. Math. Phys. 310, 419 (2012), arXiv:0910.3675] for QCAs. We also discuss the effect of symmetries on the MPU classification. In particular, we characterize the tensors corresponding to MPU that are invariant under conjugation, time reversal, or transposition. In the first case, we give a full characterization of all equivalence classes. Finally, we give several examples of MPU possessing different symmetries.

We have performed a statistical characterization of the effect of afterpulsing in a free-running silicon single-photon detector by measuring the distribution of afterpulse waiting times in response to pulsed illumination and fitting it by a sum of exponentials. We show that a high degree of goodness of fit can be obtained for 5 exponentials, but the physical meaning of estimated characteristic times is dubious. We show that a continuous limit of the sum of exponentials with a uniform density between the limiting times gives excellent fitting results in the full range of the detector response function. This means that in certain detectors the afterpulsing is caused by a continuous band of deep levels in the active area of the photodetector.

We extend the non-Hermitian one-dimensional quantum walk model [Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 065703 (2009)] by taking the dephasing effect into account. We prove that the feature of topological transition does not change even when dephasing between the sites within units is present. The potential experimental observation of our theoretical results in the circuit QED system consisting of superconducting qubit coupled to a superconducting resonator mode is discussed and numerically simulated. The results clearly show a topological transition in quantum walk and display the robustness of such a system to the decay and dephasing of qubits. We also discuss how to extend this model to higher dimension in the circuit QED system.

We present a first-principles CFT calculation corresponding to the spherical collapse of a shell of matter in three dimensional quantum gravity. In field theory terms, we describe the equilibration process, from early times to thermalization, of a CFT following a sudden injection of energy at time t=0. By formulating a continuum version of Zamolodchikov's monodromy method to calculate conformal blocks at large central charge c, we give a framework to compute a general class of probe observables in the collapse state, incorporating the full backreaction of matter fields on the dual geometry. This is illustrated by calculating a scalar field two-point function at time-like separation and the time-dependent entanglement entropy of an interval, both showing thermalization at late times. The results are in perfect agreement with previous gravity calculations in the AdS$_3$-Vaidya geometry. Information loss appears in the CFT as an explicit violation of unitarity in the 1/c expansion, restored by nonperturbative corrections.

A first quantized free photon is a complex massless vector field $A=(A^\mu)$ whose field strength satisfies Maxwell's equations in vacuum. We construct the Hilbert space $\mathscr{H}$ of the photon by endowing the vector space of the fields $A$ in the temporal-Coulomb gauge with a positive-definite and relativistically invariant inner product. We give an explicit expression for this inner product, identify the Hamiltonian for the photon with the generator of time translations in $\mathscr{H}$, determine the operators representing the momentum and the helicity of the photon, and introduce a chirality operator whose eigenfunctions correspond to fields having a definite sign of energy. We also construct a position operator for the photon whose components commute with each other and with the chirality and helicity operators. This allows for the construction of the localized states of the photon with a definite sign of energy and helicity. We derive an explicit formula for the latter and compute the corresponding electric and magnetic fields. These turn out to diverge not just at the point where the photon is localized but on a plane containing this point. We identify the axis normal to this plane with an associated symmetry axis, and show that each choice of this axis specifies a particular position operator, a corresponding position basis, and a position representation of the quantum mechanics of photon. In particular, we examine the position wave functions determined by such a position basis, elucidate their relationship with the Riemann-Silberstein and Landau-Peierls wave functions, and give an explicit formula for the probability density of the spatial localization of the photon.

In this work we propose a series-expansion thermal tensor network (SETTN) approach for efficient simulations of quantum lattice models. This continuous-time SETTN method is based on the numerically exact Taylor series expansion of equilibrium density operator $e^{-\beta H}$ (with $H$ the total Hamiltonian and $\beta$ the imaginary time), and is thus Trotter-error free. We discover, through simulating XXZ spin chain and square-lattice quantum Ising models, that not only the Hamiltonian $H$, but also its powers $H^n$, can be efficiently expressed as matrix product operators, which enables us to calculate with high precision the equilibrium and dynamical properties of quantum lattice models at finite temperatures. Our SETTN method provides an alternative to conventional Trotter-Suzuki renormalization group (RG) approaches, and achieves an unprecedented standard of thermal RG simulations in terms of accuracy and flexibility.

We introduce a minimalistic quantum model of coupled heat and particle transport. The system is composed of two spins, each coupled to a different bath and to a particle which moves on a ring consisting of three sites. We show that a spin current can be generated and the particle can be set into motion at a speed and direction which sensitively depends not only on the baths' temperatures, but also on the various system parameters. This current can withstand dissipative processes, such as dephasing. Furthermore, the particle can perform work against an external driving, thus operating as an efficient quantum motor, whose implementation could be envisaged in trapped ions or solid state systems. A two-particle extension of the model shows that particle interactions can qualitatively change the induced current, even causing current inversion.

We analyze spectral properties of the operator $H=\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2} -\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2} +\omega^2y^2-\lambda y^2V(x y)$ in $L^2(\mathbb{R}^2)$, where $\omega\ne 0$ and $V\ge 0$ is a compactly supported and sufficiently regular potential. It is known that the spectrum of $H$ depends on the one-dimensional Schr\"odinger operator $L=-\frac{\mathrm{d}^2}{\mathrm{d}x^2}+\omega^2-\lambda V(x)$ and it changes substantially as $\inf\sigma(L)$ switches sign. We prove that in the critical case, $\inf\sigma(L)=0$, the spectrum of $H$ is purely essential and covers the interval $[0,\infty)$. In the subcritical case, $\inf\sigma(L)>0$, the essential spectrum starts from $\omega$ and there is a non-void discrete spectrum in the interval $[0,\omega)$. We also derive a bound on the corresponding eigenvalue moments.

Periodically driven noninteracting systems may exhibit anomalous chiral edge modes, despite hosting bands with trivial topology. We find that these drives have surprising many-body analogs, corresponding to class A, which exhibit anomalous charge and information transport at the boundary. Drives of this form are applicable to generic systems of bosons, fermions, and spins, and may be characterized by the anomalous unitary operator that acts at the edge of an open system. We find that these operators are robust to all local perturbations and may be classified by a pair of coprime integers. This defines a notion of dynamical topological order that may be applied to general time-dependent systems, including many-body localized phases or time crystals.

Quantum technologies based on adiabatic techniques can be highly effective, but often at the cost of being very slow. Here we introduce a set of experimentally realistic, non-adiabatic protocols for spatial state preparation, which yield the same fidelity as their adiabatic counterparts, but on fast timescales. In particular, we consider a charged particle in a system of three tunnel-coupled quantum wells, where the presence of a magnetic field can induce a geometric phase during the tunnelling processes. We show that this leads to the appearance of complex tunnelling amplitudes and allows for the implementation of spatial non-adiabatic passage. We demonstrate the ability of such a system to transport a particle between two different wells and to generate a delocalised superposition between the three traps with high fidelity in short times.

We propose and evaluate a method to construct a quantum correlated twin atom laser using a pumped and damped Bose-Hubbard inline trimer which can operate in a stationary regime. With pumping via a source condensate filling the middle well and damping using either an electron beam or optical means at the two end wells, we show that bipartite quantum correlations build up between the ends of the chain, and that these can be measured either in situ or in the outcoupled beams. While nothing similar to our system has yet been achieved experimentally, recent advances mean that it should be practically realisable in the near future.

The object of contextuality analysis is a set of random variables each of which is uniquely labeled by a content and a context. In the measurement terminology, the content is that which the random variable measures, whereas the context describes the conditions under which this content is measured (in particular, the set of other contents being measured "together" with this one). Such a set of random variables is deemed noncontextual or contextual depending on whether the distributions of the context-sharing random variables are or are not compatible with certain distributions imposed on the content-sharing random variables. In the traditional approaches, contextuality is either restricted to only consistently-connected systems (those in which any two content-sharing random variables have the same distribution) or else all inconsistently-connected systems (those not having this property) are considered contextual. In the Contextuality-by-Default theory, an inconsistently connected system may or may not be contextual. There are several arguments for this understanding of contextuality, and this note adds one more. It is related to the fact that generally not each content is measured in each context, so there are "empty" content-context pairs. It is convenient to treat each of these empty pairs as containing a dummy random variable, one that does not change the degree of contextuality in a system. These dummy random variables are deterministic ones, attaining a single value with probability 1. The replacement of absent random variables with deterministic ones, however, can only be made if one allows for inconsistently-connected systems.

KEYWORDS: contextuality, dummy measurements, inconsistent connectedness, random variables.

We provide $poly\log$ sparse quantum codes for correcting the erasure channel arbitrarily close to the capacity. Specifically, we provide $[[n, k, d]]$ quantum stabilizer codes that correct for the erasure channel arbitrarily close to the capacity if the erasure probability is at least $0.33$, and with a generating set $\langle S_1, S_2, ... S_{n-k} \rangle$ such that $|S_i|\leq \log^{2+\zeta}(n)$ for all $i$ and for any $\zeta > 0$ with high probability. In this work we show that the result of Delfosse et al. is tight: one can construct capacity approaching codes with weight almost $O(1)$.

We have subjected the planar pendulum eigenproblem to a symmetry analysis with the goal of explaining the relationship between its conditional quasi-exact solvability (C-QES) and the topology of its eigenenergy surfaces, established in our earlier work [Frontiers in Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics 2, 1-16, (2014)]. The present analysis revealed that this relationship can be traced to the structure of the tridiagonal matrices representing the symmetry-adapted pendular Hamiltonian, as well as enabled us to identify many more -- forty in total to be exact -- analytic solutions. Furthermore, an analogous analysis of the hyperbolic counterpart of the planar pendulum, the Razavy problem, which was shown to be also C-QES [American Journal of Physics 48, 285 (1980)], confirmed that it is anti-isospectral with the pendular eigenproblem. Of key importance for both eigenproblems proved to be the topological index $\kappa$, as it determines the loci of the intersections (genuine and avoided) of the eigenenergy surfaces spanned by the dimensionless interaction parameters $\eta$ and $\zeta$. It also encapsulates the conditions under which analytic solutions to the two eigenproblems obtain and provides the number of analytic solutions. At a given $\kappa$, the anti-isospectrality occurs for single states only (i.e., not for doublets), like C-QES holds solely for integer values of $\kappa$, and only occurs for the lowest eigenvalues of the pendular and Razavy Hamiltonians, with the order of the eigenvalues reversed for the latter. For all other states, the pendular and Razavy spectra become in fact qualitatively different, as higher pendular states appear as doublets whereas all higher Razavy states are singlets.

The concept of correlation is central to all approaches that attempt the description of many-body effects in electronic systems. Multipartite correlation is a quantum information theoretical property that is attributed to quantum states independent of the underlying physics. In quantum chemistry, however, the correlation energy (the energy not seized by the Hartree-Fock ansatz) plays a more prominent role. We show that these two different viewpoints on electron correlation are closely related. The key ingredient turns out to be the energy gap within the symmetry-adapted subspace. We then use a few-site Hubbard model and the stretched H$_2$ to illustrate this connection and to show how the corresponding measures of correlation compare.