Author(s): Chenyang Li, Marcos Curty, Feihu Xu, Olinka Bedroya, and Hoi-Kwong Lo

Silicon photonics holds the promise of the miniaturization of quantum communication devices. Recently, silicon chip optical transmitters for quantum key distribution (QKD) have been built and demonstrated experimentally. Nonetheless, these silicon chips suffer substantial phase- and polarization-dep...

[Phys. Rev. A 98, 042324] Published Wed Oct 17, 2018

Random numbers are a fundamental and useful resource in science and engineering with important applications in simulation, machine learning and cyber-security. Quantum systems can produce true random numbers because of the inherent randomness at the core of quantum mechanics. As a consequence, quantum random number generators are an efficient method to generate random numbers on a large scale. We study in this paper the applications of a viable source of unbiased quantum random numbers (QRNs) whose statistical properties can be arbitrarily programmed without the need for any post-processing and that pass all standard randomness tests of the NIST and Dieharder test suites without any randomness extraction. Our method is based on measuring the arrival time of single photons in shaped temporal modes that are tailored with an electro-optical modulator. The advantages of our QRNs are shown via two applications: simulation of a fractional Brownian motion, which is a non-Markovian process, and option pricing under the fractional SABR model where the stochastic volatility process is assumed to be driven by a fractional Brownian motion. The results indicate that using the same number of random units, our QRNs achieve greater accuracy than those produced by standard pseudo-random number generators. Moreover, we demonstrate the advantages of our method via an increase in computational speed, efficiency, and convergence.

Gates in error-prone quantum information processors are often modeled using sets of one- and two-qubit process matrices, the standard model of quantum errors. However, the results of quantum circuits on real processors often depend on additional external "context" variables. Such contexts may include the state of a spectator qubit, the time of data collection, or the temperature of control electronics. In this article we demonstrate a suite of simple, widely applicable, and statistically rigorous methods for detecting context dependence in quantum circuit experiments. They can be used on any data that comprise two or more "pools" of measurement results obtained by repeating the same set of quantum circuits in different contexts. These tools may be integrated seamlessly into standard quantum device characterization techniques, like randomized benchmarking or tomography. We experimentally demonstrate these methods by detecting and quantifying crosstalk and drift on the publicly accessible 16-qubit ibmqx3.

The measurement range problem, where one cannot determine the data outside the range of the detector, limits the characterization of entanglement in high-dimensional quantum systems when employing, among other tools from information theory, the entropic uncertainty relations. Practically, the measurement range problem weakens the security of entanglement-based large-alphabet quantum key distribution (QKD) employing degrees of freedom including time-frequency or electric field quadrature. We present a modified entropic uncertainty relation that circumvents the measurement range problem under certain conditions, and apply it to well-known QKD protocols. For time-frequency QKD, although our bound is an improvement, we find that high channel loss poses a problem for its feasibility. In continuous variable QKD, we find our bound provides a quantitative way to monitor for saturation attacks.

Free-space quantum links have clear practical advantages which are unaccessible with fiber-based optical channels --- establishing satellite-mediated quantum links, communications through hardly accessible regions, and communications with moving objects. We consider the effect of the atmospheric turbulence on properties such as quadrature squeezing, entanglement, Bell nonlocality, and nonclassical statistics of photocounts, which are resources for quantum communications. Depending on the characteristics of the given channels, we study the efficiency of different techniques, which enable to preserve these quantum features---post-, pre-selection, and adaptive methods. Furthermore, we show that copropagation of nonclassically-correlated modes, which is used in some communication scenarios, has clear advantages in free-space links.

Many fundamental and applied experiments in quantum optics require transferring nonclassical states of light through large distances. In this context the free-space channels are a very promising alternative to optical fibers as they are mobile and enable to establish communications with moving objects, using satellites for global quantum links. For such channels the atmospheric turbulence is the main disturbing factor. The statistical properties of the fluctuating transmittance through the turbulent atmosphere are given by the probability distribution of transmittance (PDT). We derive the consistent PDTs for the atmospheric quantum channels by step-by-step inclusion of various atmospheric effects such as beam wandering, beam broadening and deformation of the beam into elliptic form, beam deformations into arbitrary forms. We discuss the applicability of PDT models for different propagation distances and optical turbulence strengths in the case when the receiver module has an annular aperture. We analyze the optimal detection and correction strategies which can improve the channel transmission characteristics. The obtained results are important for the design of optical experiments including postselection and adaptive strategies and for the security analysis of quantum communication protocols in free-space.

The integration of quantum emitters with integrated photonics enables complex quantum photonic circuits that are necessary for photonic implementation of quantum simulators, computers, and networks. Thin-film lithium niobate is an ideal material substrate for quantum photonics because it can tightly confine light in small waveguides and has a strong electro-optic effect that can switch and modulate single photons at low power and high speed. However, lithium niobite lacks efficient single-photon emitters, which are essential for scalable quantum photonic circuits. We demonstrate deterministic coupling of single-photon emitters with a lithium niobate photonic chip. The emitters are composed of InAs quantum dots embedded in an InP nanobeam, which we transfer to a lithium niobate waveguide with nanoscale accuracy using a pick-and place approach. An adiabatic taper transfers single photons emitted into the nanobeam to the lithium niobate waveguide with high efficiency. We verify the single photon nature of the emission using photon correlation measurements performed with an on-chip beamsplitter. Our results demonstrate an important step toward fast, reconfigurable quantum photonic circuits for quantum information processing.

The non-trivial geometry encoded in the Quantum Mechanical wavefunctions has important consequences for its single-particle as well as many-body dynamics. Yet, our understanding of how the geometry of the single-particle eigenstates are manifest in the characteristics of a many-particle system is still incomplete. Here, we demonstrate how the single-particle Berry curvature modifies the fluxoid quantization of a two dimensional Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) superconductor, and discuss the experimental scenarios where this anomalous quantization is expected to be realized.

Linearity of a dynamical entropy means that the dynamical entropy of the n-fold composition of a dynamical map with itself is equal to n times the dynamical entropy of the map for every positive integer n. We show that the quantum dynamical entropy introduced by Slomczynski and Zyczkowski is nonlinear in the time interval between successive measurements of a quantum dynamical system. This is in contrast to Kolmogorov-Sinai dynamical entropy for classical dynamical systems, which is linear in time. We also compute the exact values of quantum dynamical entropy for the Hadamard walk with varying Luders-von Neumann instruments and partitions.

Fault-tolerant spin-based quantum computers will require fast and accurate qubit readout. This can be achieved using radio-frequency reflectometry given sufficient sensitivity to the change in quantum capacitance associated with the qubit states. Here, we demonstrate a 23-fold improvement in capacitance sensitivity by supplementing a cryogenic semiconductor amplifier with a SQUID preamplifier. The SQUID amplifier operates at a frequency near 200 MHz and achieves a noise temperature below 550 mK when integrated into a reflectometry circuit, which is within a factor 115 of the quantum limit. It enables a record sensitivity to capacitance of 0.07 aF/Hz^0.5 and a sensitivity to oscillating charge of 5.9 x 10^-24 C/Hz^0.5. We use this circuit to measure the stability diagram of a gate-defined quantum dot, and show that the sensitivity should be sufficient for single-shot readout of a singlet-triplet qubit in GaAs without a charge sensor.

A new version of the change of the "phase" (i.e., of the set of observable characteristics) of a quantum system is proposed. In a general scenario the evolution is assumed generated, before the phase transition, by some standard Hermitian Hamiltonian $H^{(before)}$, and, after the phase transition, by one of the recently very popular non-standard, non-Hermitian (but hiddenly Hermitian, i.e., still unitarity-guaranteeing) Hamiltonians $H^{(after)}$. For consistency, a smoothness of matching between the two operators as well as between the related physical Hilbert spaces must be guaranteed. The feasibility of the idea is illustrated via the two-mode $(N-1)-$bosonic Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian. In $H^{(before)}=H^{(BH)}(\varepsilon)$ we use the decreasing real $\varepsilon^{(before)} \to 0$. In the hiddenly Hermitian continuation $H^{(after)}=H^{(BH)}(\tilde{\varepsilon})$ the imaginary part of the purely imaginary $\tilde{\varepsilon}^{(after)}$ grows. The smoothness of the transition occurring at the interface $\varepsilon=\tilde{\varepsilon}=0$ is then guaranteed by an {\it ad hoc\,} amendment of the inner product in Hilbert space "after". The trivial Hilbert-space metric $\Theta^{(before)}=I$ must match $\Theta^{(after)} \neq I$ smoothly. This is confirmed and illustrated by the explicit constructions of a few $\Theta^{(after)}$s in closed form.

A discrete time crystal is a recently discovered non-equilibrium phase of matter that has been shown to exist in disordered, periodically driven Ising spin chains. In this phase, if the system is initially prepared in one of a certain class of pure multi-spin product states, it periodically returns to this state over very long time scales despite the presence of interactions, disorder, and pulse imperfections. Here, we show that this phase occurs in GaAs quantum dot spin arrays containing as few as three quantum dots, each confining one electron spin, for naturally occurring levels of nuclear spin noise and charge noise. Although the physical interaction in these arrays is a nearest-neighbor Heisenberg exchange interaction, we show that this can be effectively converted into an Ising interaction by applying additional pulses during each drive period. We show that by changing the rotation axis of these pulses, we can select the direction of the Ising interaction and, consequently, the quantization axis of the stabilized multi-spin states. Moreover, we demonstrate that it is possible to perform coherent rotations of the stabilized states while remaining in the time crystal phase. These findings open up the intriguing possibility of using time crystal phases to extend the lifetime of quantum states for information applications.

Quantum adiabatic evolution, an important fundamental concept in physics, describes the dynamical evolution arbitrarily close to the instantaneous eigenstate of a slowly driven Hamiltonian. In most systems undergoing spontaneous symmetry-breaking transitions, their two lowest eigenstates change from non-degenerate to degenerate. Therefore, due to the corresponding energy gap vanishes, the conventional gap condition for quantum adiabatic evolution becomes invalid. Here we explore the existence of quantum adiabatic evolutions in spontaneous symmetry-breaking transitions and derive a symmetry-dependent adiabatic condition. Because the driven Hamiltonian conserves the symmetry in the whole process, the transition between different eigenstates with different symmetries is forbidden. Therefore, even if the gap vanishes, symmetry-protected quantum adiabatic evolution may appear when the driven system varies according to the symmetry-dependent adiabatic condition. This study not only advances our understandings of quantum adiabatic evolution and spontaneous symmetry-breaking transitions, but also provides extensive applications ranging from quantum state engineering, topological Thouless pumping to quantum computing.

We propose a scheme to simulate the exciton energy transfer (EET) of photosynthetic complexes in a quantum superconducting circuit system. Our system is composed of two pairs of superconducting charge qubits coupled to two separated high-Q superconducting transmission line resonators (TLRs) connected by a capacitance. When the frequencies of the qubits are largely detuned with those of the TLRs, we simulate the process of the EET from the first qubit to the fourth qubit. By tuning the couplings between the qubits and the TLRs, and the coupling between the two TLRs, we can modify the effective coupling strengths between the qubits and thus demonstrate the geometric effects on the EET. It is shown that a moderate clustered geometry supports optimal EET by using exciton delocalization and energy matching condition. And the population loss during the EET has been trapped in the two TLRs.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) offers a practical solution for secure communication between two distinct parties via a quantum channel and an authentic public channel. In this work, we consider different approaches to the quantum bit error rate (QBER) estimation at the information reconciliation stage of the post-processing procedure. For reconciliation schemes using LDPC codes, we develop a novel syndrome-based QBER estimation algorithm. The suggested algorithm is suitable for irregular LDPC-codes and takes into account punctured and shortened bits. With testing our approach in the real QKD setup, we show that an approach combining the proposed algorithm with conventional QBER estimation techniques allows improving accuracy of the QBER estimation.

In this study, we have studied the quantum tunneling of a single spin-orbit-coupled atom held in a periodically modulated optical lattice with an impurity. At the pseudocollapse points of quasienergy bands, where the dynamical localization takes place globally, two types of local second-order tunneling processes appear beyond expectation between the two nearest-neighbor sites of the impurity with the spin unchanged and with impurity site population negligible all the time, when the impurity potential is far off-resonant with the driving field. Though tunneling behaviors of the two types seem to be the same, they are believed to involve two distinct mechanisms: one is related to spin-independent process, while the other is to spin-dependent tunneling process. The two types of second-order processes can be identified by means of resonant tunneling with or without spin-flipping by tuning the impurity potential to be in resonance with the driving field. In the Floquet picture, the second-order processes are manifested as subtle and fine avoided crossings of quasienergy spectrums near the pseudocollapse region. These results are confirmed analytically on the basis of effective three-site model and multiple-time-scale asymptotic perturbative method, and may be exploited for engineering the spin-dependent quantum transport in realistic experiments.

We investigate alternative annealing schedules on the current generation of quantum annealing hardware (the D-Wave 2000Q), which includes the use of forward and reverse annealing with an intermediate pause. This work provides new insights into the inner workings of these devices (and quantum devices in general), particular into how thermal effects govern the system dynamics. We show that a pause mid-way through the anneal can cause a dramatic change in the output distribution, and we provide evidence suggesting thermalization is indeed occurring during such a pause. We demonstrate that upon pausing the system in a narrow region shortly after the minimum gap, the probability of successfully finding the ground state of the problem Hamiltonian can be increased by several orders of magnitude. We relate this effect to relaxation (i.e. thermalization) after diabatic and thermal excitations that occur in the region near to the minimum gap. For a set of large-scale problems of up to 500 qubits, we demonstrate that the distribution returned from the annealer very closely matches a (classical) Boltzmann distribution of the problem Hamiltonian, albeit one with a temperature at least 1.5 times higher than the (effective) temperature of the annealer. Moreover, we show that larger problems are more likely to thermalize to a classical Boltzmann distribution.

We investigate the dynamical properties of the finite-size Dicke model coupled to a photon reservoir in the dispersive regime. The system-reservoir coupling in our Hamiltonian includes counter-rotating terms, which are relevant in the strong atom-cavity coupling. Because the dispersive regime is considered, the dynamics of low-energy states are described sufficiently accurately within the finite-dimensional subspace of the dressed states. Using the separation of the time scales between the system and the reservoir, we derive the Markovian quantum master equation in the subspace without ignoring the counter-rotating terms. The temporal evolution of the expectation of the cavity mode shows that the bifurcation of the long-lived state corresponds to the superradiant transition in the isolated model. The master equation explicitly gives the steady state solution. The numerical results for the first-order correlation function on the steady state indicate that the strong atom-cavity coupling enhances the coherence and softens the dephasing in the superradiant region.

We propose a machine learning approach based on artificial neural network to gain faster insights on the role of geometric contributions to the nonequilibrium fluctuations of an adiabatically temperature-driven quantum heat engine coupled to a cavity. Using the artificial neural network we have explored the interplay between bunched and antibunched photon exchange statistics for different engine parameters. We report that beyond a pivotal cavity temperature, the Fano factor oscillates between giant and low values as a function of phase difference between the driving protocols. We further observe that the standard thermodynamic uncertainty relation is not valid when there are finite geometric contributions to the fluctuations, but holds true for zero phase difference even in presence of coherences.

In recent years, digraph induced generators of quantum dynamical semigroups have been introduced and studied, particularly in the context of unique relaxation and invariance. In this article we define the class of pair block diagonal generators, which allows for additional interaction coefficients but preserves the main structural properties. Namely, when the basis of the underlying Hilbert space is given by the eigenbasis of the Hamiltonian (for example the generic semigroups), then the action of the semigroup leaves invariant the diagonal and off-diagonal matrix spaces. In this case, we explicitly compute all invariant states of the semigroup.

In order to define this class we provide a characterization of when the Gorini-Kossakowski-Sudarshan-Lindblad (GKSL) equation defines a proper generator when arbitrary Lindblad operators are allowed (in particular, they do not need to be traceless as demanded by the GKSL Theorem). Moreover, we consider the converse construction to show that every generator naturally gives rise to a digraph, and that under certain assumptions the properties of this digraph can be exploited to gain knowledge of both the number and the structure of the invariant states of the corresponding semigroup.