We study a novel regime of the Rydberg excitation blockade using highly Stark-shifted, yet long-living, states of Rb atoms subject to electric fields above the classical ionization limit. Such states allow tuning the dipole-dipole interaction strength while their ionization rate can be changed over two orders of magnitude by small variations of the electric field. We demonstrate laser excitation of the interacting Rydberg states followed by their detection using controlled ionization and magnified imaging with high spatial and temporal resolution. Our work reveals the hitherto unexplored possibilities to control the interaction strength and dynamically tune the ionization and detection of Rydberg atoms, which can be useful for realizing and assessing quantum simulators that vary in space and time.

We present a general and systematic study of how a Bell experiment on the cosmic microwave background could be carried out. We introduce different classes of pseudo-spin operators and show that, if the system is placed in a two-mode squeezed state as inflation predicts, they all lead to a violation of the Bell inequality. However, we also discuss the obstacles that one faces in order to realize this program in practice and show that they are probably insurmountable. We suggest alternative methods that would reveal the quantum origin of cosmological structures without relying on Bell experiments.

According to Born's rule quantum probabilities are given by the overlap between the system state and measurement states in a quite symmetrical way. This means that both contribute to any observed nonclassical effect that is usually attributed just to the observed light state. This is relevant since typical measurement are highly nonclassical by themselves, such as number states and quadrature eigenstates. We show that nonclassical effects only arise provided that the measurement is itself nonclassical. Otherwise there is a classical-like model accounting for the observed statistics.

We give a polynomial-time algorithm for computing upper bounds on some of the smaller energy eigenvalues in a spin-1/2 ferromagnetic Heisenberg model with any graph $G$ for the underlying interactions. An important ingredient is the connection between Heisenberg models and the symmetric products of $G$. Our algorithms for computing upper bounds are based on generalized diameters of graphs. Computing the upper bounds amounts to solving the minimum assignment problem on $G$, which has well-known polynomial-time algorithms from the field of combinatorial optimization. We also study the possibility of computing the lower bounds on some of the smaller energy eigenvalues of Heisenberg models. This amounts to estimating the isoperimetric inequalities of the symmetric product of graphs. By using connections with discrete Sobolev inequalities, we show that this can be performed by considering just the vertex-induced subgraphs of $G$. If our conjecture for a polynomial time approximation algorithm to solve the edge-isoperimetric problem holds, then our proposed method of estimating the energy eigenvalues via approximating the edge-isoperimetric properties of vertex-induced subgraphs will yield a polynomial time algorithm for estimating the smaller energy eigenvalues of the Heisenberg ferromagnet.

Non-classical probability (along with its underlying logic) is a defining feature of quantum mechanics. A formulation that incorporates them, inherently and directly, would promise a unified description of seemingly different prescriptions of non-classicality of states that have been proposed so far. This paper sets up such a formalism. It is based on elementary considerations, free of ad-hoc definitions, and is completely operational. It permits a systematic construction of non-classicality conditions on states and also to quantify the non-classicality, at the same time. This quantification, as shown for the example of two level systems, can serve as a measure of coherence and can be furthermore, harnessed to obtain a measure for pure state entanglement for coupled two level systems.

Describing current in open quantum systems can be problematic due to the subtle interplay of quantum coherence and environmental noise. Probing the noise-induced current can be detrimental to the tunneling-induced current and vice versa. We derive a general theory for the probability current in quantum systems arbitrarily interacting with their environment that overcomes this difficulty. We show that the current can be experimentally measured by performing a sequence of weak and standard quantum measurements. We exemplify our theory by analyzing a simple Smoluchowski-Feynman-type ratchet consisting of two particles, operating deep in the quantum regime. Fully incorporating both thermal and quantum effects, the current generated in the model can be used to detect the onset of "genuine quantumness" in the form of quantum contextuality. The model can also be used to generate steady-state entanglement in the presence of arbitrarily hot environment.

Following detailed analysis of relativistic, QED and mass corrections for helium-like and lithium-like ions with static nuclei for $Z \leq 20$ the domain of applicability of Non-Relativistic QED (NRQED) is localized for ground state energy. It is demonstrated that for both helium-like and lithium-like ions with $Z \leq 20$ the finite nuclear mass effects do not change 4-5 significant digits (s.d.) and the leading relativistic and QED effects leave unchanged 3-4 s.d. in the ground state energy. It is shown that the non-relativistic ground state energy can be interpolated with accuracy of not less than 6 decimal digits (d.d.) for helium-like and for lithium-like ions for $Z \leq 20$ by a meromorphic function in variable ${\lambda}=\sqrt{Z-{Z_B}}$ (here $Z_B$ is the 2nd critical charge \cite{TLO:2016}), which is well inside the domain of applicability of NRQED. It is found that both the Majorana formula - a second degree polynomial in $Z$ with two free parameters - and a fourth degree polynomial in ${\lambda}$ (a generalization of the Majorana formula) reproduce the ground state energy of the helium-like and lithium-like ions for $Z \leq 20$ in the domain of applicability of NRQED, thus, at least, 3 s.d. It is noted that $\gtrsim 99.9\%$ of the ground state energy is given by the variational energy for properly optimized trial function of the form of (anti)-symmetrized product of three (six) screened Coulomb orbitals for two-(three) electron system with 3 (7) free parameters for $Z \leq 20$, respectively. It may imply that these trial functions are, in fact, {\it exact} wavefunctions in non-relativistic QED, thus, the NRQED effective potential can be derived. It is shown that the sum of relativistic and QED effects in leading approximation - 3 s.d. - for both 2 and 3 electron systems is interpolated by 4th degree polynomial in $Z$ for $Z \leq 20$.

A large number of symmetry-protected topological (SPT) phases have been hypothesized for strongly interacting spin-1/2 systems in one dimension. Realizing these SPT phases, however, often demands fine-tunings hard to reach experimentally. And the lack of analytical solutions hinders the understanding of their many-body wave functions. Here we show that two kinds of SPT phases naturally arise for ultracold polar molecules confined in a zigzag optical lattice. This system, motivated by recent experiments, is described by a spin model whose exchange couplings can be tuned by an external field to reach parameter regions not studied before for spin chains or ladders. Within the enlarged parameter space, we find the ground state wave function can be obtained exactly along a line and at a special point, for these two phases respectively. These exact solutions provide a clear physical picture for the SPT phases and their edge excitations. We further obtain the phase diagram by using infinite time-evolving block decimation, and discuss the phase transitions between the two SPT phases and their experimental signatures.

Despite its importance in general relativity, a quantum notion of general covariance has not yet been established in quantum gravity and cosmology, where, given the a priori absence of coordinates, it is necessary to replace classical frames with dynamical quantum reference systems. As such, quantum general covariance bears on the ability to consistently switch between the descriptions of the same physics relative to arbitrary choices of quantum reference system. Recently, a systematic approach for such switches has been developed (arXiv:1809.00556, 1809.05093, 1810.04153). It links the descriptions relative to different choices of quantum reference system, identified as the correspondingly reduced quantum theories, via the reference-system-neutral Dirac quantization, in analogy to coordinate changes on a manifold. In this work, we apply this method to a simple cosmological model to demonstrate how to consistently switch between different internal time choices in quantum cosmology. We substantiate the argument that the conjunction of Dirac and reduced quantized versions of the theory defines a complete relational quantum theory that not only admits a quantum general covariance, but, we argue, also suggests a new perspective on the 'wave function of the universe'. It assumes the role of a perspective-neutral global state, without immediate physical interpretation, that, however, encodes all the descriptions of the universe relative to all possible choices of reference system at once and constitutes the crucial link between these internal perspectives. While, for simplicity, we use the Wheeler-DeWitt formulation, the method and arguments might be also adaptable to loop quantum cosmology.

The quantum Rabi-Stark model, where the linear dipole coupling and the nonlinear Stark-like coupling are present on an equal footing, are studied within the Bogoliubov operators approach. Transcendental functions responsible for the exact solutions are derived in a compact way, much simpler than previous ones obtained in the Bargmann representation. The zeros of transcendental functions reproduce completely the regular spectra. In terms of the explicit pole structure of these functions, two kinds of exceptional eigenvalues are obtained and distinguished in a transparent manner. Very interestingly, a first-order quantum phase transition indicated by level crossing of the ground state and the first excited state is induced by the positive nonlinear Stark-like coupling, which is however absent in any previous isotropic quantum Rabi models. When the absolute value of the nonlinear coupling strength is equal to twice the cavity frequency, this model can be reduced to an effective quantum harmonic oscillator, and solutions are then obtained analytically. The spectra collapse phenomenon is observed at a critical coupling, while below this critical coupling, infinite discrete spectra accumulate into a finite energy from below.

We analyze simultaneous estimations of multiple parameters in postselection measurements in terms of a tradeoff relation. A system, or a sensor, is characterized by a set of parameters, interacts with a measurement apparatus (MA), and then is postselected onto a final state. Measurements of the MA yield an estimation of the parameters. We first derive classical and quantum Cramer-Rao lower bounds and discuss the tradeoffs in the postselection measurements in general. Then, we discuss simultaneous measurements of phase and its fluctuation as an example. We found that the quantum Cramer-Rao bound can be attained and the quantum tradeoff can be saturated and thus all the parameters can, in principle, attain the ultimate precision simultaneously.

We develop a general theoretical framework for measurement protocols employing statistical correlations of randomized measurements. We focus on locally randomized measurements implemented with local random unitaries in quantum lattice models. In particular, we discuss the theoretical details underlying the recent measurement of the second R\'{e}nyi entropy of highly mixed quantum states consisting of up to $10$ qubits in a trapped-ion quantum simulator [Brydges et al., Science 364, 260 (2019)]. We generalize the protocol to access the overlap of quantum states, prepared sequentially in an experiment. Furthermore, we discuss proposals for quantum state tomography based on randomized measurements within our framework and the respective scaling of statistical errors with system size.

Scalar and fermionic particle pair production in rotating electric fields is investigated in the nonperturbative multiphoton regime. Angular momentum distribution functions in above-threshold pair production processes are calculated numerically within quantum kinetic theory and discussed on the basis of a photon absorption model. The particle spectra can be understood if the spin states of the particle-antiparticle pair are taken into account.

We investigate the interaction between light and molecular systems modeled as quantum emitters coupled to a multitude of vibrational modes via a Holstein-type interaction. We follow a quantum Langevin equations approach that allows for analytical derivations of absorption and fluorescence profiles of molecules driven by classical fields or coupled to quantized optical modes. We retrieve analytical expressions for the modification of the radiative emission branching ratio in the Purcell regime and for the asymmetric cavity transmission associated with dissipative cross-talk between upper and lower polaritons in the strong coupling regime. We also characterize the F\"{o}rster resonance energy transfer process between donor-acceptor molecules mediated by the vacuum or by a cavity mode.

In this paper we study the Minimum Error Discrimination problem (MED) for ensembles of linearly independent (LI) states. We define a bijective map from the set of those ensembles to itself and we show that the Pretty Good Measurement (PGM) and the optimal measurement for the MED are related by the map. In particular, the fixed points of the map are those ensembles for which the PGM is the optimal measurement. Also, we simplify the optimality conditions for the measurement of an ensemble of LI states.

We analyse a system of two interacting spin-qubits subjected to a Landau-Majorana-St\"uckelberg-Zener (LMSZ) ramp. We prove that LMSZ transitions of the two spin-qubits are possible without an external transverse static field since its role is played by the coupling between the spin-qubits. We show how such a physical effect could be exploited to estimate the strength of the interaction between the two spin-qubits and to generate entangled states of the system by appropriately setting the slope of the ramp. Moreover, the study of effects of the coupling parameters on the time-behaviour of the entanglement is reported. Finally, our symmetry-based approach allows us to discuss also effects stemming from the presence of a classical noise or non-Hermitian dephasing terms.

We consider a chiral fermion at non-zero temperature on a circle (i.e., on a torus in the Euclidean formalism) and compute the modular Hamiltonian corresponding to a subregion of the circle. We do this by a very simple procedure based on the method of images, which is presumably generalizable to other situations. Our result is non-local even for a single interval, and even for Neveu-Schwarz boundary conditions. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous examples of a modular Hamiltonian with this behavior.

Exploiting the possibility of temporal variation of the winding number, we have prepared a SSH chain in its stroboscopic topological state, starting from the trivial one, by application of a periodic perturbation. The periodic driving, we employ here, is adiabatically switched on to break the particle-hole symmetry and generate a chiral mass term in the effective Floquet Hamiltonian; consequently the Floquet Hamiltonian also gets deformed without crossing the gapless critical point. The particle hole symmetry is subsequently restored in the Floquet Hamiltonian by adiabatically switching off a part of the periodic potential. Thereafter, the Floquet Hamiltonian develops a symmetry protected non-trivial topological winding number. Furthermore, we also observe stroboscopic topologically protected localised edge states in a long open chain and show that a bulk boundary correspondence survives a unitary non-equilibrium situation in 1D BDI Hamiltonians.

We extend the standard solid-state quantum mechanical Hamiltonian containing only Coulomb interactions between the charged particles by inclusion of $1/c^2$ terms representing (transverse) current-current interaction. For its derivation we use the classical formulation of Landau-Lifshitz, however consequently in the Coulomb gauge. Our Hamiltonian does not coincide with the Darwin Hamiltonian and we emphasize the mathematical inconsistency in its derivation. We show, that the quantized version of our Hamiltonian is equivalent to the non-relativistic QED considering only states without photons and retaining only terms of order $1/c^2$. The importance of this extended Hamiltonian lies in the possibility to distinguish external from internal magnetic fields. This aspect may be relevant for theories of the Meissner effect.

Electron-positron pair production from vacuum in external electric fields with space and time dependencies is studied numerically using real time Dirac-Heisenberg-Wigner formalism. The influence of spatial focusing scale of the electric field on momentum distribution and the total yield of the particles is examined by considering standing wave mode of the electric field with different temporal configurations. With the decrease of spatial extent of the external field, signatures of the temporal field are weaken in the momentum spectrum. Moreover, in the extremely small spatial extent, novel features emerge due to the combined effects of both temporal and spatial variations. We also find that for dynamically assisted particle production, while the total particle yield drops significantly in small spatial extents, the assistance mechanism tends to increase in these highly inhomogeneous regimes, where the slow and fast pulses are affected differently by the overall spatial inhomogeneity.