Quantum Physics (quant-ph) updates on the arXiv.org e-print archive

The effects of a magnetic field on the energy and on the spin of free electrons are computed in the framework of quantum field theory. In the case of a constant moderate field and with relatively slow electrons, the derived formulae are particularly simple. A comparison with the approaches of classical physics and of quantum mechanics shows essential differences and important analogies. The relevance to the magnetic effects of the initial polarization components of the electron states and the possible existence of special values of these quantities are discussed in the final conclusions, which might be useful to explain recent experiments on quasi-free electrons in chiral systems in biology.

In any Bell test, loopholes can cause issues in the interpretation of the results, since an apparent violation of the inequality may not correspond to a violation of local realism. An important example is the coincidence-time loophole that arises when detector settings might influence the time when detection will occur. This effect can be observed in almost any experiment where measurement outcomes are to be compared between remote stations because the interpretation of an ostensible Bell violation strongly depends on the method used to decide coincidence. The coincidence-time loophole has previously been studied for the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt (CHSH) and Clauser-Horne (CH) inequalities, but recent experiments have shown the need for a generalization. Here, we study the generalized "chained" inequality by Pearle-Braunstein-Caves (PBC) with two or more settings per observer. This inequality has applications in, for instance, Quantum Key Distribution where it has been used to re-establish security. In this paper we give the minimum coincidence probability for the PBC inequality for all N and show that this bound is tight for a violation free of the fair-coincidence assumption. Thus, if an experiment has a coincidence probability exceeding the critical value derived here, the coincidence-time loophole is eliminated.

Commercial photon-counting modules based on actively quenched solid-state avalanche photodiode sensors are used in a wide variety of applications. Manufacturers characterize their detectors by specifying a small set of parameters, such as detection efficiency, dead time, dark counts rate, afterpulsing probability and single-photon arrival-time resolution (jitter). However, they usually do not specify the range of conditions over which these parameters are constant or present a sufficient description of the characterization process. In this work, we perform a few novel tests on two commercial detectors and identify an additional set of imperfections that must be specified to sufficiently characterize their behavior. These include rate-dependence of the dead time and jitter, detection delay shift, and "twilighting." We find that these additional non-ideal behaviors can lead to unexpected effects or strong deterioration of the performance of a system using these devices. We explain their origin by an in-depth analysis of the active quenching process. To mitigate the effects of these imperfections, a custom-built detection system is designed using a novel active quenching circuit. Its performance is compared against two commercial detectors in a fast quantum key distribution system with hyper-entangled photons and a random number generator.

We demonstrate the full functionality of a circuit that generates single microwave photons on-demand, with a wavepacket that can be modulated with a near-arbitrary shape. We achieve such a high tunability by coupling a superconducting qubit near the end of a semi-infinite transmission line. A DC-SQUID shunts the line to ground and is employed to modify the spatial dependence of the electromagnetic mode structure in the transmission line. This allows us to couple and decouple the qubit from the line, shaping its emission rate on fast-time scales. Our decoupling scheme is applicable to all types of superconducting qubits and other solid state systems and can be generalized to multiple qubits as well as to resonators.

We study two-dimensional (2D) matter-wave solitons in spinor Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) under the action of the spin-orbit coupling and opposite signs of the self- and cross-interactions. Stable 2D two-component solitons of the mixed-mode (MM) type are found if the cross-interaction between the components is attractive, while the self-interaction is repulsive in each component. Stable solitons of the semi-vortex type are formed in the opposite case, under the action of competing self-attraction and cross-repulsion. The solitons exist with the total norm taking values below a collapse threshold. Further, in the case of the repulsive self-interaction and inter-component attraction, stable 2D self-trapped modes, which may be considered as quantum droplets (QDs), are created if the Lee-Huang-Yang (LHY) terms are added to the underlying system of coupled Gross-Pitaevskii equations. The QDs of the MM type exist with arbitrarily large values of the norm, as the LHY terms eliminate the collapse. The influence of the SOC term on the QDs are systematically studied throughout the paper. And the QDs are demonstrated that they can survive in the strongest Rashba-Dresselhaus mixture, which the solitons are delocalized in this limit.Thus, QDs in spin-orbit-coupled binary BEC are for the first time studied in the present model.

We consider quantum key distribution (QKD) and entanglement distribution using a single-sender multiple-receiver pure-loss bosonic broadcast channel. We determine the unconstrained capacity region for the distillation of bipartite entanglement and secret key between the sender and each receiver, whenever they are allowed arbitrary public classical communication. A practical implication of our result is that the capacity region demonstrated drastically improves upon rates achievable using a naive time-sharing strategy, which has been employed in previously demonstrated network QKD systems. We show a simple example of the broadcast QKD protocol overcoming the limit of the point-to-point strategy. Our result is thus an important step toward opening a new framework of network channel-based quantum communication technology.

We give precise quantum resource estimates for Shor's algorithm to compute discrete logarithms on elliptic curves over prime fields. The estimates are derived from a simulation of a Toffoli gate network for controlled elliptic curve point addition, implemented within the framework of the quantum computing software toolsuite LIQ$Ui|\rangle$. We determine circuit implementations for reversible modular arithmetic, including modular addition, multiplication and inversion, as well as reversible elliptic curve point addition. We conclude that elliptic curve discrete logarithms on an elliptic curve defined over an $n$-bit prime field can be computed on a quantum computer with at most $9n + 2\lceil\log_2(n)\rceil+10$ qubits using a quantum circuit of at most $448 n^3 \log_2(n) + 4090 n^3$ Toffoli gates. We are able to classically simulate the Toffoli networks corresponding to the controlled elliptic curve point addition as the core piece of Shor's algorithm for the NIST standard curves P-192, P-224, P-256, P-384 and P-521. Our approach allows gate-level comparisons to recent resource estimates for Shor's factoring algorithm. The results also confirm estimates given earlier by Proos and Zalka and indicate that, for current parameters at comparable classical security levels, the number of qubits required to tackle elliptic curves is less than for attacking RSA, suggesting that indeed ECC is an easier target than RSA.

We investigate multiple scattering of scalar waves by an ensemble of $N$ resonant point scatterers in three dimensions. For up to $N = 21$ scatterers, we numerically optimize the positions of the individual scatterers, such as to maximize the total scattering cross section for an incoming plane wave, on the one hand, and to minimize the decay rate associated to a long-lived scattering resonance, on the other hand. In both cases, the optimimum is achieved by configurations where all scatterers are placed on a line parallel to the direction of the incoming plane wave. The associated maximal scattering cross section increases quadratically with the number of scatterers for large $N$, whereas the minimal decay rate -- which is realized by configurations that are not the same as those that maximize the scattering cross section -- decreases exponentially as a function of $N$. Finally, we also analyze the stability of our optimized configurations with respect to small random displacements of the scatterers. These results demonstrate that optimized configurations of scatterers bear a considerable potential for applications such as quantum memories or mirrors consisting of only a few atoms.

The ordinary time-dependent perturbation theory of quantum mechanics, that describes the interaction of a stationary system with a time-dependent perturbation, predicts that the transition probabilities induced by the perturbation are symmetric with respect to the initial an final states. Here we extend time-dependent perturbation theory into the non-Hermitian realm and consider the transitions in a stationary Hermitian system, described by a self-adjoint Hamiltonian $\hat{H}_0$, induced by a time-dependent non-Hermitian interaction $f(t) \hat{P}$. In the weak interaction (perturbative) limit, the transition probabilities generally turn out to be {\it asymmetric} for exchange of initial and final states. In particular, for a temporal shape $f(t)$ of the perturbation with one-sided Fourier spectrum, i.e. with only positive (or negative) frequency components, transitions are fully unidirectional, a result that holds even in the strong interaction regime. Interestingly, we show that non-Hermitian perturbations can be tailored to be transitionless, i.e. the perturbation leaves the system unchanged as if the interaction had not occurred at all, regardless the form of $\hat{H}_0$ and $\hat{P}$. As an application of the results, we discuss asymmetric (chiral) behavior of dynamical encircling of an exceptional point in a two- and three-level system.

One of the interesting fundamental phenomenon which was observed in the last decades is the discovery of anyons, relativistic spinning particles in $2+1$ dimensions. In contrast to three-dimensional space, indistinguishable quantum particles in two-dimensional space can, in general, have anomalous statistics [1-4]. These quasiparticles carry not only a charge $q$ also the magnetic flux $\Phi_0$.

Photoassociation of ultracold atoms is shown to lead to alignment of the product molecules along the excitation laser polarization axis. We theoretically investigate pulsed photoassociation of $^{87}Rb$ atoms into a specific weakly-bound level of the a $^3\Sigma_u^+$ metastable electronic state and find both stationary and time-dependent field-free alignment. Although a transform-limited pulse yields significant alignment, a frequency-chirped pulse dramatically enhances the molecular formation rate at the cost of a slight decrease in the alignment. Employing multiple pulses synchronized with the vibrational and rotational periods leads to coherent enhancement of both population and alignment of the target state.

We reflect on the information paradigm in quantum and gravitational physics and on how it may assist us in approaching quantum gravity. We begin by arguing, using a reconstruction of its formalism, that quantum theory can be regarded as a universal framework governing an observer's acquisition of information from physical systems taken as information carriers. We continue by observing that the structure of spacetime is encoded in the communication relations among observers and more generally the information flow in spacetime. Combining these insights with an information-theoretic Machian view, we argue that the quantum architecture of spacetime can operationally be viewed as a locally finite network of degrees of freedom exchanging information. An advantage -- and simultaneous limitation -- of an informational perspective is its quasi-universality, i.e. quasi-independence of the precise physical incarnation of the underlying degrees of freedom. This suggests to exploit these informational insights to develop a largely microphysics independent top-down approach to quantum gravity to complement extant bottom-up approaches by closing the scale gap between the unknown Planck scale physics and the familiar physics of quantum (field) theory and general relativity systematically from two sides. While some ideas have been pronounced before in similar guise and others are speculative, the way they are strung together and justified is new and supports approaches attempting to derive emergent spacetime structures from correlations of quantum degrees of freedom.

In the typical model, a discrete-time coined quantum walk searching the 2D grid for a marked vertex achieves a success probability of $O(1/\log N)$ in $O(\sqrt{N \log N})$ steps, which with amplitude amplification yields an overall runtime of $O(\sqrt{N} \log N)$. We show that making the quantum walk lackadaisical or lazy by adding a self-loop of weight $4/N$ to each vertex speeds up the search, causing the success probability to reach a constant near $1$ in $O(\sqrt{N \log N})$ steps, thus yielding an $O(\sqrt{\log N})$ improvement over the typical, loopless algorithm. This improved runtime matches the best known quantum algorithms for this search problem. Our results are based on numerical simulations since it is not amenable the analysis of the abstract search algorithm.

An unstable quantum state generally decays following an exponential law, as environmental decoherence is expected to prevent the decay products from recombining to reconstruct the initial state. Here we show the existence of deviations from exponential decay in open quantum systems under very general conditions. Our results are illustrated with the exact dynamics under quantum Brownian motion and suggest an explanation of recent experimental observations.

Bob has a black box that emits a single pure state qudit which is, from his perspective, uniformly distributed. Alice wishes to give Bob evidence that she has knowledge about the emitted state while giving him little or no information about it. We show that zero-knowledge evidencing of such knowledge is impossible in quantum relativistic protocols, extending a previous result of Horodecki et al.. We also show that no such protocol can be both sound and complete. We present a new quantum relativistic protocol which we conjecture to be close to optimal in security against Alice and which reveals little knowledge to Bob, for large dimension $d$. We analyse its security against general attacks by Bob and restricted attacks by Alice.

Dilute nitride bismide GaNBiAs is a potential semiconductor alloy for near- and mid-infrared applications, particularly in 1.55 $\mu$m optical communication systems. Incorporating dilute amounts of Bismuth (Bi) into GaAs reduces the effective bandgap rapidly, while significantly increasing the spin-orbit-splitting energy. Additional incorporation of dilute amounts of Nitrogen (N) helps to attain lattice matching with GaAs, while providing a route for flexible bandgap tuning. Here we present a study of the electronic bandstructure and optical gain of the lattice matched GaN$_x$Bi$_y$As$_{1-x-y}$/GaAs quaternary alloy quantum well (QW) based on the 16-band k$\cdot$p model. We have taken into consideration the interactions between the N and Bi impurity states with the host material based on the band anticrossing (BAC) and valence band anticrossing (VBAC) model. The optical gain calculation is based on the density matrix theory. We have considered different lattice matched GaNBiAs QW cases and studied their energy dispersion curves, optical gain spectrum, maximum optical gain and differential gain; and compared their performances based on these factors. The thickness and composition of these QWs were varied in order to keep the emission peak fixed at 1.55 $\mu$m. The well thickness has an effect on the spectral width of the gain curves. On the other hand, a variation in the injection carrier density has different effects on the maximum gain and differential gain of QWs of varying thicknesses. Among the cases studied, we found that the 6.3 nm thick GaN$_3$Bi$_{5.17}$As$_{91.83}$ lattice matched QW was most suited for 1.55 $\mu$m (0.8 eV) GaAs-based photonic applications.

Strong nonlinearity at the single photon level represents a crucial enabling tool for optical quantum technologies. Here we report on experimental implementation of a strong Kerr nonlinearity by measurement-induced quantum operations on weak quantum states of light. Our scheme coherently combines two sequences of single photon addition and subtraction to induce a nonlinear phase shift at the single photon level. We probe the induced nonlinearity with weak coherent states and characterize the output non-Gaussian states with quantum state tomography. The strong nonlinearity is clearly witnessed as a change of sign of specific off-diagonal density matrix elements in Fock basis.

Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) steering is an intermediate type of quantum nonlocality which sits between entanglement and Bell nonlocality. A set of correlations is Bell nonlocal if it does not admit a local hidden variable (LHV) model, while it is EPR nonlocal if it does not admit a local hidden variable-local hidden state (LHV-LHS) model. It is interesting to know what states can generate EPR-nonlocal correlations in the simplest nontrivial scenario, that is, two projective measurements for each party sharing a two-qubit state. Here we show that a two-qubit state can generate EPR-nonlocal full correlations (excluding marginal statistics) in this scenario if and only if it can generate Bell-nonlocal correlations. If full statistics (including marginal statistics) is taken into account, surprisingly, the same scenario can manifest the simplest one-way steering and the strongest hierarchy between steering and Bell nonlocality. To illustrate these intriguing phenomena in simple setups, several concrete examples are discussed in detail, which facilitates experimental demonstration. In the course of study, we introduce the concept of restricted LHS models and thereby derive a necessary and sufficient semidefinite-programming criterion to determine the steerability of any bipartite state under given measurements. Analytical criteria are further derived in several scenarios of strong theoretical and experimental interest.

Thermal states are the bedrock of statistical physics. Nevertheless, when and how they actually arise in closed quantum systems is not fully understood. We consider this question for systems with local Hamiltonians on finite quantum lattices. In a first step, we show that states with exponentially decaying correlations equilibrate after a quantum quench. Then we show that the equilibrium state is locally equivalent to a thermal state, provided that the free energy of the equilibrium state is sufficiently small and the thermal state has exponentially decaying correlations. As an application, we look at a related important question: When are thermal states stable against noise? In other words, if we locally disturb a closed quantum system in a thermal state, will it return to thermal equilibrium? We rigorously show that this occurs when the correlations in the thermal state are exponentially decaying. All our results come with finite-size bounds, which are crucial for the growing field of quantum thermodynamics and other physical applications.

We study the thermalization of an ensemble of $N$ elementary, arbitrarily-complex, quantum systems, mutually noninteracting but coupled as electric or magnetic dipoles to a blackbody radiation. The elementary systems can be all the same or belong to different species, distinguishable or indistinguishable, located at fixed positions or having translational degrees of freedom. Even if the energy spectra of the constituent systems are nondegenerate, as we suppose, the ensemble unavoidably presents degeneracies of the energy levels and/or of the energy gaps. We show that, due to these degeneracies, a thermalization analysis performed by the popular quantum optical master equation reveals a number of serious pathologies, possibly including a lack of ergodicity. On the other hand, a consistent thermalization scenario is obtained by introducing a Lindblad-based approach, in which the Lindblad operators, instead of being derived from a microscopic calculation, are established as the elements of an operatorial basis with squared amplitudes fixed by imposing a detailed balance condition and requiring their correspondence with the dipole transition rates evaluated under the first-order perturbation theory. Due to the above-mentioned degeneracies, this procedure suffers a basis arbitrariness which, however, can be removed by exploiting the fact that the thermalization of an ensemble of noninteracting systems cannot depend on the ensemble size. As a result, we provide a clear-cut partitioning of the thermalization time into dissipation and decoherence times, for which we derive formulas giving the dependence on the energy levels of the elementary systems, the size $N$ of the ensemble, and the temperature of the blackbody radiation.