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

We present MISTIQS, a Multiplatform Software for Time-dependent Quantum Simulations. MISTIQS delivers end-to-end functionality for simulating the quantum many-body dynamics of systems governed by time-dependent Heisenberg Hamiltonians across multiple quantum computing platforms. It provides high-level programming functionality for generating intermediate representations of quantum circuits which can be translated into a variety of industry-standard representations. Furthermore, it offers a selection of circuit compilation and optimization methods and facilitates execution of the quantum circuits on currently available cloud-based quantum computing backends. MISTIQS serves as an accessible and highly flexible research and education platform, allowing a broader community of scientists and students to perform quantum many-body dynamics simulations on current quantum computers.

Core-excitations on different atoms are highly localized and therefore decoupled. By placing molecules in an X-ray cavity the core-transitions become coupled via the exchange of cavity photons and form delocalized hybrid light-matter excitations known as core-polaritons. We demonstrate these effects for the two inequivalent carbon atoms in 1,1-difluoroethylene. Polariton signatures in the X-ray absorption, two-photon absorption, and multidimensional four-wave mixing, signals are predicted.

Here, we explore the combination of sub-wavelength, two-dimensional atomic arrays and Rydberg interactions as a powerful platform to realize strong, coherent interactions between individual photons with high fidelity. In particular, the spatial ordering of the atoms guarantees efficient atom-light interactions without the possibility of scattering light into unwanted directions, for example, allowing the array to act as a perfect mirror for individual photons. In turn, Rydberg interactions enable single photons to alter the optical response of the array within a potentially large blockade radius $R_b$, which can effectively punch a large "hole" for subsequent photons. We show that such a system enables a coherent photon-photon gate or switch, with an error scaling $\sim R_b^{-4}$ that is significantly better than the best known scaling in a disordered ensemble. We also investigate the optical properties of the system in the limit of strong input intensities. Although this a priori represents a complicated, many-body quantum driven dissipative system, we find that the behavior can be captured well by a semi-classical model based on holes punched in a classical mirror.

There is a longstanding debate on the metaphysical relation between quantum states and the systems they describe. A series of relatively recent {\psi}-ontology theorems have been taken to show that, provided one accepts certain assumptions, "quantum states are real". In this paper I investigate the question of what that claim might be taken to mean in light of these theorems. It is argued that, even if one accepts the framework and assumptions employed by such theorems, such a conclusion is not warranted. Specifically, I argue that when a so-called ontic state is taken to describe the properties of a system, the relation between this state and some quantum state as established by {\psi}-ontology theorems, is not of the kind that would warrant counting the quantum state among these properties in any way.

Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers in diamond are a platform for several important quantum technologies, including sensing, communication and elementary quantum processors. In this letter we demonstrate the creation of NV centers by implantation using a deterministic single ion source. For this we sympathetically laser-cool single $^{15}\textrm{N}_2^+$ molecular ions in a Paul trap and extract them at an energy of 5.9\,keV. Subsequently the ions are focused with a lateral resolution of 121(35)\,nm and are implanted into a diamond substrate without any spatial filtering by apertures or masks. After high-temperature annealing, we detect the NV centers in a confocal microscope and determine a conversion efficiency of about 0.6\,$\%$. The $^{15}\textrm{NV}$ centers are characterized by optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) on the hyperfine transition and coherence time.

In an atomic ensemble, quantum information is typically carried as single collective excitations. It is very advantageous if the creation of single excitations is efficient and robust. Rydberg blockade enables deterministic creation of single excitations via collective Rabi oscillation by precisely controlling the pulse area, being sensitive to many experimental parameters. In this paper, we implement the adiabatic rapid passage technique to the Rydberg excitation process in a mesoscopic atomic ensemble. We make use of a two-photon excitation scheme with an intermediate state off-resonant and sweep the laser frequency of one excitation laser. We find the chirped scheme preserves internal phases of the collective Rydberg excitation and be more robust against variance of laser intensity and frequency detuning.

A cold atomic ensemble suits well for optical quantum memories, and its entanglement with a single photon forms the building block for quantum networks that give promise for many revolutionary applications. Efficiency and lifetime are among the most important figures of merit for a memory. In this paper, we report the realization of entanglement between an atomic ensemble and a single-photon with subsecond lifetime and high efficiency. We engineer dual control modes in a ring cavity to create entanglement and make use of 3-dimensional optical lattice to prolong memory lifetime. The memory efficiency is 38% for 0.1 second storage. We verify the atom-photon entanglement after 1 second storage by testing the Bell inequality with a result of $S=2.36\pm0.14$.

The well known phenomenon of avoided level crossing (ALC) can be perceived as a quantum analogue of the Thom's catastrophes in classical dynamical systems. One-dimensional Schr\"{o}dinger equation is chosen for illustration. In constructive manner, a family of confining polynomial potentials is considered, characterized by the presence of an $N-$plet of high barriers separating the $(N+1)-$plet of deep valleys. The bifurcations of the long-time classical equilibria are shown paralleled by the ALCs in the quantum low-lying spectra. Every tunneling-controlled fine-tuned switch of dominance between the valleys is finally interpreted as a change of the topological structure of the probability density representing a genuine quantum relocalization catastrophe.

Theoretical and experimental investigations of the interaction between spins and temperature gradients are vital for the development of spin caloritronics, and can dictate the design of future spintronics devices. In this work, we propose a two-terminal cold-atom simulator to study that interaction. The proposed quantum simulator consists of strongly interacting atoms that occupy two reservoirs connected by a one-dimensional link. The reservoirs are kept at different temperatures. We show the existence of a spin current in this system by studying the dynamics that follows a spin-flip of an atom in the link. We argue that the dynamics in the link can be described using an inhomogeneous Heisenberg chain whose couplings are defined by the local temperature. A temperature gradient accelerates the impurity in one direction more than in the other, leading to an overall spin current. Therefore, our study offers a way to simulate certain features of the spin Seebeck effect with cold atoms.

In this paper, a novel training paradigm inspired by quantum computation is proposed for deep reinforcement learning (DRL) with experience replay. In contrast to traditional experience replay mechanism in DRL, the proposed deep reinforcement learning with quantum-inspired experience replay (DRL-QER) adaptively chooses experiences from the replay buffer according to the complexity and the replayed times of each experience (also called transition), to achieve a balance between exploration and exploitation. In DRL-QER, transitions are first formulated in quantum representations, and then the preparation operation and the depreciation operation are performed on the transitions. In this progress, the preparation operation reflects the relationship between the temporal difference errors (TD-errors) and the importance of the experiences, while the depreciation operation is taken into account to ensure the diversity of the transitions. The experimental results on Atari 2600 games show that DRL-QER outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms such as DRL-PER and DCRL on most of these games with improved training efficiency, and is also applicable to such memory-based DRL approaches as double network and dueling network.

Employing very simple electro-mechanical principles known from classical physics, the Kibble balance establishes a very precise and absolute link between quantum electrical standards and macroscopic mass or force measurements. The success of the Kibble balance, in both determining fundamental constants ($h$, $N_A$, $e$) and realizing a quasi-quantum mass in the 2019 newly revised International System of Units, relies on the perfection of Maxwell's equations and the symmetry they describe between Lorentz's force and Faraday's induction, a principle and a symmetry stunningly demonstrated in the weighing and velocity modes of Kibble balances to within $1\times10^{-8}$, with nothing but imperfect wires and magnets. However, recent advances in the understanding of the current effect in Kibble balances reveal a troubling paradox. A diamagnetic effect, a force that does not cancel between mass-on and mass-off measurement, is challenging balance maker's assumptions of symmetry at levels that are almost two orders of magnitude larger than the reported uncertainties. The diamagnetic effect, if it exists, shows up in weighing mode without a readily apparent reciprocal effect in the velocity mode, begging questions about systematic errors at the very foundation of the new measurement system. The hypothetical force is caused by the coil current changing the magnetic field, producing an unaccounted force that is systematically modulated with the weighing current. Here we show that this diamagnetic force exists, but the additional force does not change the equivalence between weighing and velocity measurements. We reveal the unexpected way that symmetry is preserved and show that for typical materials and geometries the total relative effect on the measurement is $\approx 1\times10^{-9}$.

Hybrid entangled states prove to be necessary for quantum information processing within heterogeneous quantum networks. A method with irreducible number of consumed resources that firmly provides hybrid CV-DV entanglement for any input conditions of the experimental setup is proposed. Namely, a family of CV states is introduced. Each of such CV states is first superimposed on a beam-splitter with a delocalized photon and then detected by a photo-detector behind the beam-splitter. Detection of any photon number heralds generation of a hybrid CV-DV entangled state in the outputs, independent of transmission/reflection coefficients of the beam-splitter and size of the input CV state. Nonclassical properties of the generated state are studied and their entanglement degree in terms of negativity is calculated. There are wide domains of values of input parameters of the experimental setup that can be chosen to make the generated state maximally entangled. The proposed method is also applicable to truncated versions of the input CV states. We also propose a simple method to produce even/odd CV states.

Parameterized quantum circuits serve as ans\"{a}tze for solving variational problems and provide a flexible paradigm for programming near-term quantum computers. Ideally, such ans\"{a}tze should be highly expressive so that a close approximation of the desired solution can be accessed. On the other hand, the ansatz must also have sufficiently large gradients to allow for training. Here, we derive a fundamental relationship between these two essential properties: expressibility and trainability. This is done by extending the well established barren plateau phenomenon, which holds for ans\"{a}tze that form exact 2-designs, to arbitrary ans\"{a}tze. Specifically, we calculate the variance in the cost gradient in terms of the expressibility of the ansatz, as measured by its distance from being a 2-design. Our resulting bounds indicate that highly expressive ans\"{a}tze exhibit flatter cost landscapes and therefore will be harder to train. Furthermore, we provide numerics illustrating the effect of expressiblity on gradient scalings, and we discuss the implications for designing strategies to avoid barren plateaus.

We present a generalized quantum scattering circuit which can be used to perform non-invasive quantum measurements, and implement it on NMR qubits. Such a measurement is a key requirement for testing temporal non-contextual inequalities. We use this circuit to experimentally demonstrate the violation of the Peres-Mermin inequality (which is the temporal analog of a Klyachko-Can- Binicioglu-Shumovsky (KCBS) inequality), on a three-qubit NMR quantum information processor. Further, we experimentally demonstrate the violation of a transformed Bell-type inequality (the spatial equivalent of the temporal KCBS inequality) and show that its Tsirelson bound is the same as that for the temporal KCBS inequality. In the temporal KCBS scenario, the contextual bound is strictly lower than the quantum temporal and nonlocal bounds.

The properties of coherence and polarization of light has been the subject of intense investigations and form the basis of many technological applications. These concepts which historically have been treated independently can now be formulated under a single classical theory. Here, we derive a quantum counterpart for this theory, with basis on a density matrix formulation, which describes jointly the coherence and polarization properties of an ensemble of photons. The method is used to show how the degree of polarization of a specific class of mixed states changes on propagation in free space, and how an interacting environment can suppress the coherence and polarization degrees of a general state. This last application can be particularly useful in the analysis of decoherence effects in optical quantum information implementations.

We apply the formalism of quantum estimation theory to obtain information about the value of the nonlinear optomechanical coupling strength. In particular, we discuss the minimum mean-square error estimator and a quantum Cram\'er--Rao-type inequality for the estimation of the coupling strength. Our estimation strategy reveals some cases where quantum statistical inference is inconclusive and merely result in the reinforcement of prior expectations. We show that these situations also involve the highest expected information losses. We demonstrate that interaction times in the order of one time period of mechanical oscillations are the most suitable for our estimation scenario, and compare situations involving different photon and phonon excitations.

Quantum internet will enable a number of revolutionary applications. It relies on entanglement of remote quantum memories over long distances. Despite enormous progresses so far, the maximal physical separation achieved between two nodes is 1.3 km, and challenges for long distance remain. Here we make a significant step forward by entangling two atomic ensembles in one lab via photon transmission through metropolitan-scale fibers. We use cavity enhancement to create bright atom-photon entanglement, and harness quantum frequency conversion to shift the atomic wavelength to telecom. We realize entanglement over 22 km field-deployed fibers via two-photon interference, and entanglement over 50 km coiled fibers via single-photon interference. Our experiment can be extended to physically separated nodes with similar distance as a functional segment for atomic quantum networks, thus paving the way towards establishing atomic entanglement over many nodes and over much longer distance.

We show a certain kind of non-local operations can be simulated by sampling a set of local operations with a quasi-probability distribution when the task of a quantum circuit is to evaluate an expectation value of observables. Utilizing the result, we describe a strategy to decompose a two-qubit gate to a sequence of single-qubit operations. Required operations are projective measurement of a qubit in Pauli basis, and $\pi/2$ rotation around x, y, and z axes. The required number of sampling to get an expectation value of a target observable within an error of $\epsilon$ is roughly $O(9^k/\epsilon^2)$, where $k$ is the number of "cuts" performed. The proposed technique enables to perform "virtual" gates between a distant pair of qubits, where there is no direct interaction and thus a number of swap gates are inevitable otherwise. It can also be utilized to improve the simulation of a large quantum computer with a small-sized quantum device, which is an idea put forward by [Peng, et al., arXiv:1904.00102]. This work can enhance the connectivity of qubits on near-term, noisy quantum computers.

The S1 (21Ag-) state is an optically dark state of natural and synthetic pi-conjugated materials that can play a critical role in optoelectronic processes such as, energy harvesting, photoprotection and singlet fission. Despite this widespread importance, direct experimental characterisations of the electronic structure of the S1 (21Ag-) wavefunction have remained scarce and uncertain, although advanced theory predicts it to have a rich multi-excitonic character. Here, studying an archetypal polymer, polydiacetylene, and carotenoids, we experimentally demonstrate that S1 (21Ag-) is a superposition state with strong contributions from spin-entangled pairs of triplet excitons (1(TT)). We further show that optical manipulation of the S1 (21Ag-) wavefunction using triplet absorption transitions allows selective projection of the 1(TT) component into a manifold of spatially separated triplet-pairs with lifetimes enhanced by up to one order of magnitude and whose yield is strongly dependent on the level of inter-chromophore coupling. Our results provide a unified picture of 21Ag-states in pi-conjugated materials and open new routes to exploit their dynamics in singlet fission, photobiology and for the generation of entangled (spin-1) particles for molecular quantum technologies.

Luminescent colloidal CdSe nanorings are a new type of semiconductor structure that have attracted interest due to the potential for unique physics arising from their non-trivial toroidal shape. However, the exciton properties and dynamics of these materials with complex topology are not yet well understood. Here, we use a combination of femtosecond vibrational spectroscopy, temperature-resolved photoluminescence (PL), and single particle measurements to study these materials. We find that on transformation of CdSe nanoplatelets to nanorings, by perforating the center of platelets, the emission lifetime decreases and the emission spectrum broadens due to ensemble variations in the ring size and thickness. The reduced PL quantum yield of nanorings (~10%) compared to platelets (~30%) is attributed to an enhanced coupling between: (i) excitons and CdSe LO-phonons at 200 cm-1 and (ii) negatively charged selenium-rich traps which give nanorings a high surface charge (~-50 mV). Population of these weakly emissive trap sites dominates the emission properties with an increased trap emission at low temperatures relative to excitonic emission. Our results provide a detailed picture of the nature of excitons in nanorings and the influence of phonons and surface charge in explaining the broad shape of the PL spectrum and the origin of PL quantum yield losses. Furthermore, they suggest that the excitonic properties of nanorings are not solely a consequence of the toroidal shape but are also a result of traps introduced by puncturing the platelet center.