Classification of macroscopic quantum effects

Optics Communications (2014)

T Farrow, V Vedral

We review canonical experiments on systems that have pushed the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds towards much larger scales, and discuss their unique features that enable quantum coherence to survive. Because the types of systems differ so widely, we use a case by case approach to identifying the different parameters and criteria that capture their behaviour in a quantum mechanical framework. We find it helpful to categorise systems into three broad classes defined by mass, spatio-temporal coherence, and number of particles. The classes are not mutually exclusive and in fact the properties of some systems fit into several classes. We discuss experiments by turn, starting with interference of massive objects like macromolecules and micro-mechanical resonators, followed by self-interference of single particles in complex molecules, before examining the striking advances made with superconducting qubits. Finally, we propose a theoretical basis for quantifying the macroscopic features of a system to lay the ground for a more systematic comparison of the quantum properties in disparate systems. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Scale-estimation of quantum coherent energy transport in multiple-minima systems.

Scientific reports 4 (2014) 5520-

T Farrow, V Vedral

A generic and intuitive model for coherent energy transport in multiple minima systems coupled to a quantum mechanical bath is shown. Using a simple spin-boson system, we illustrate how a generic donor-acceptor system can be brought into resonance using a narrow band of vibrational modes, such that the transfer efficiency of an electron-hole pair (exciton) is made arbitrarily high. Coherent transport phenomena in nature are of renewed interest since the discovery that a photon captured by the light-harvesting complex (LHC) in photosynthetic organisms can be conveyed to a chemical reaction centre with near-perfect efficiency. Classical explanations of the transfer use stochastic diffusion to model the hopping motion of a photo-excited exciton. This accounts inadequately for the speed and efficiency of the energy transfer measured in a series of recent landmark experiments. Taking a quantum mechanical perspective can help capture the salient features of the efficient part of that transfer. To show the versatility of the model, we extend it to a multiple minima system comprising seven-sites, reminiscent of the widely studied Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) light-harvesting complex. We show that an idealised transport model for multiple minima coupled to a narrow-band phonon can transport energy with arbitrarily high efficiency.

Introducing one-shot work into fluctuation relations


NY Halpern, AJP Garner, OCO Dahlsten, V Vedral

Maxwell's Daemon: information versus particle statistics.

Scientific reports 4 (2014) 6995-

M Plesch, O Dahlsten, J Goold, V Vedral

Maxwell's daemon is a popular personification of a principle connecting information gain and extractable work in thermodynamics. A Szilard Engine is a particular hypothetical realization of Maxwell's daemon, which is able to extract work from a single thermal reservoir by measuring the position of particle(s) within the system. Here we investigate the role of particle statistics in the whole process; namely, how the extractable work changes if instead of classical particles fermions or bosons are used as the working medium. We give a unifying argument for the optimal work in the different cases: the extractable work is determined solely by the information gain of the initial measurement, as measured by the mutual information, regardless of the number and type of particles which constitute the working substance.

Topological quantum phase transitions in the spin-singlet superconductor with Rashba and Dresselhaus (110) spin-orbit couplings

ANNALS OF PHYSICS 349 (2014) 189-200

J-B You, AH Chan, CH Oh, V Vedral

Universal optimal quantum correlator

International Journal of Quantum Information 12 (2014)

F Buscemi, M Dall'Arno, M Ozawa, V Vedral

© 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company. Recently, a novel operational strategy to access quantum correlation functions of the form Tr[AρB] was provided in [F. Buscemi, M. Dall'Arno, M. Ozawa and V. Vedral, arXiv:1312.4240]. Here we propose a realization scheme, that we call partial expectation values, implementing such strategy in terms of a unitary interaction with an ancillary system followed by the measurement of an observable on the ancilla. Our scheme is universal, being independent of ρ, A, and B, and it is optimal in a statistical sense. Our scheme is suitable for implementation with present quantum optical technology, and provides a new way to test uncertainty relations.

Work and quantum phase transitions: quantum latency.

Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics 89 (2014) 062103-

E Mascarenhas, H Bragança, R Dorner, M França Santos, V Vedral, K Modi, J Goold

We study the physics of quantum phase transitions from the perspective of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. For first-order quantum phase transitions, we find that the average work done per quench in crossing the critical point is discontinuous. This leads us to introduce the quantum latent work in analogy with the classical latent heat of first order classical phase transitions. For second order quantum phase transitions the irreversible work is closely related to the fidelity susceptibility for weak sudden quenches of the system Hamiltonian. We demonstrate our ideas with numerical simulations of first, second, and infinite order phase transitions in various spin chain models.

Transitionless quantum driving in open quantum systems


G Vacanti, R Fazio, S Montangero, GM Palma, M Paternostro, V Vedral

Guaranteed energy-efficient bit reset in finite time.

Physical review letters 113 (2014) 100603-

C Browne, AJP Garner, OCO Dahlsten, V Vedral

Landauer's principle states that it costs at least kBTln2 of work to reset one bit in the presence of a heat bath at temperature T. The bound of kBTln2 is achieved in the unphysical infinite-time limit. Here we ask what is possible if one is restricted to finite-time protocols. We prove analytically that it is possible to reset a bit with a work cost close to kBTln2 in a finite time. We construct an explicit protocol that achieves this, which involves thermalizing and changing the system's Hamiltonian so as to avoid quantum coherences. Using concepts and techniques pertaining to single-shot statistical mechanics, we furthermore prove that the heat dissipated is exponentially close to the minimal amount possible not just on average, but guaranteed with high confidence in every run. Moreover, we exploit the protocol to design a quantum heat engine that works near the Carnot efficiency in finite time.

Discord as a Quantum Resource for Bi-Partite Communication


HM Chrzanowski, M Gu, SM Assad, T Symul, K Modi, TC Ralph, V Vedral, PK Lam

Guaranteed Energy-Efficient Bit Reset in Finite Time (vol 113, 100603, 2014)


C Browne, AJP Garner, OCO Dahlsten, V Vedral

Towards quantifying complexity with quantum mechanics


R Tan, DR Terno, J Thompson, V Vedral, M Gu

Zen and the art of quantum complexity

NEW SCIENTIST 224 (2014) 28-29

M Gu, V Vedral

Work and quantum phase transitions: Quantum latency

PHYSICAL REVIEW E 89 (2014) ARTN 062103

E Mascarenhas, H Braganca, R Dorner, M Franca Santos, V Vedral, K Modi, J Goold

Quantum entanglement

NATURE PHYSICS 10 (2014) 256-258

V Vedral

Local Convertibility and the Quantum Simulation of Edge States in Many-Body Systems

PHYSICAL REVIEW X 4 (2014) ARTN 041028

F Franchini, J Cui, L Amico, H Fan, M Gu, V Korepin, LC Kwek, V Vedral

Experimental verification of quantum discord in continuous-variable states and operational significance of discord consumption

Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe - Technical Digest 2014-January (2014)

S Hosseini, S Rahimi-Keshari, JY Haw, SM Assad, HM Chrzanowski, J Janousek, T Symul, TC Ralph, PK Lam, M Gu, K Modi, V Vedral

© 2014 Optical Society of America. We introduce a simple and efficient technique to verify quantum discord in unknown Gaussian states and certain class of non-Gaussian states. We show that any separation in the peaks of the marginal distributions of one subsystem conditioned on two different outcomes of homodyne measurements performed on the other subsystem indicates correlation between the corresponding quadratures and hence nonzero quantum discord. We also demonstrate that under certain measurement constraints, discord between bipartite systems can be consumed to encode information that can only be accessed by coherent quantum interaction.

Experimental verification of quantum discord in continuous-variable states and operational significance of discord consumption


S Hosseini, S Rahimi-Keshari, JY Haw, SM Assad, HM Chrzanowski, J Janousek, T Symul, TC Ralph, PK Lam, M Gu, K Modi, V Vedral, IEEE

The uncertainty principle enables non-classical dynamics in an interferometer.

Nature communications 5 (2014) 4592-

OCO Dahlsten, AJP Garner, V Vedral

The quantum uncertainty principle stipulates that when one observable is predictable there must be some other observables that are unpredictable. The principle is viewed as holding the key to many quantum phenomena and understanding it deeper is of great interest in the study of the foundations of quantum theory. Here we show that apart from being restrictive, the principle also plays a positive role as the enabler of non-classical dynamics in an interferometer. First we note that instantaneous action at a distance should not be possible. We show that for general probabilistic theories this heavily curtails the non-classical dynamics. We prove that there is a trade-off with the uncertainty principle that allows theories to evade this restriction. On one extreme, non-classical theories with maximal certainty have their non-classical dynamics absolutely restricted to only the identity operation. On the other extreme, quantum theory minimizes certainty in return for maximal non-classical dynamics.

Experimental generation of quantum discord via noisy processes

Physical Review Letters 111 (2013)

BP Lanyon, P Jurcevic, C Hempel, M Gessner, V Vedral, R Blatt, CF Roos

Quantum systems in mixed states can be unentangled and yet still nonclassically correlated. These correlations can be quantified by the quantum discord and might provide a resource for quantum information processing tasks. By precisely controlling the interaction of two ionic qubits with their environment, we investigate the capability of noise to generate discord. Firstly, we show that noise acting on only one quantum system can generate discord between two. States generated in this way are restricted in terms of the rank of their correlation matrix. Secondly, we show that classically correlated noise processes are capable of generating a much broader range of discordant states with correlation matrices of any rank. Our results show that noise processes prevalent in many physical systems can automatically generate nonclassical correlations and highlight fundamental differences between discord and entanglement. © 2013 American Physical Society.