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[en] Full text: The application of quantum mechanics to describe a single-mode electromagnetic field has brought a deeper understanding and boosted the precision of the theory to an unprecedented level. Yet in many cases a classical-like description of light is adequate. The mode is said to be 'classical' if it can be described as a mixture of coherent states: if not, it is 'nonclassical'. Various experimental signatures of nonclassicality are known, however, these do not detect it infallibly. We propose the 'Entanglement Potential' (EP) as a quantitative measure of nonclassicality. It is the amount of two-mode entanglement that can be generated from the field using linear optics, auxiliary classical states and ideal photodetectors. The EP detects nonclassicality, has a direct physical interpretation, and can be computed efficiently. These three properties together make it stand out from previously proposed nonclassicality measures. We derive closed expressions for the EP of important classes of states and analyze as an example the degradation of nonclassicality in lossy channels. (author)
[en] We give a quantum benchmark for teleportation and quantum storage experiments suited for pure and mixed test states. The benchmark is based on the average fidelity over a family of phase-covariant states and certifies that an experiment cannot be emulated by a classical setup, i.e., by a measure-and-prepare scheme. We give an analytical solution for qubits, which shows important differences with standard state estimation approach, and compute the value of the benchmark for coherent and squeezed states, both pure and mixed.
[en] Quantum state discrimination is a fundamental primitive in quantum statistics where one has to correctly identify the state of a system that is in one of two possible known states. A programmable discrimination machine performs this task when the pair of possible states is not a priori known but instead the two possible states are provided through two respective program ports. We study optimal programmable discrimination machines for general qubit states when several copies of states are available in the data or program ports. Two scenarios are considered: One in which the purity of the possible states is a priori known, and the fully universal one where the machine operates over generic mixed states of unknown purity. We find analytical results for both the unambiguous and minimum error discrimination strategies. This allows us to calculate the asymptotic performance of programmable discrimination machines when a large number of copies are provided and to recover the standard state discrimination and state comparison values as different limiting cases.
[en] We consider the problem of determining the weights of a quantum ensemble. That is to say, given a quantum system that is in a set of possible known states according to an unknown probability law, we give strategies to estimate the individual probabilities, weights, or mixing proportions. Such strategies can be used to estimate the frequencies at which different independent signals are emitted by a source. They can also be used to estimate the weights of particular terms in a canonical decomposition of a quantum channel. The quality of these strategies is quantified by a covariance-type error matrix. According with this cost function, we give optimal strategies in both the single-shot and multiple-copy scenarios. The latter is also analyzed in the asymptotic limit of large number of copies. We give closed expressions of the error matrix for two-component quantum mixtures of qubit systems. The Fisher information plays an unusual role in the problem at hand, providing exact expressions of the minimum covariance matrix for any number of copies.
[en] We introduce the distribution of a secret multipartite entangled state in a real-world scenario as a quantum primitive. We show that in the presence of noisy quantum channels (and noisy control operations), any state chosen from the set of two-colorable graph states (Calderbank-Shor-Steane codewords) can be created with high fidelity while it remains unknown to all parties. This is accomplished by either blind multipartite entanglement purification, which we introduce in this paper, or by multipartite entanglement purification of enlarged states, which offers advantages over an alternative scheme based on standard channel purification and teleportation. The parties are thus provided with a secret resource of their choice for distributed secure applications
[en] We consider a finite number, N, of qubits that encode a pure single qubit state SU(2) covariantly. Given the N-qubit state has already been measured optimally to estimate the single-qubit state, we analyse the maximum information obtainable by a second, and subsequent observers ignorant of important details of the previous measurements. We quantify the information acquired by each observer as a function of N and of the number of independent observers that in succession have independently measured the same ensemble of qubits before him.
[en] Weighted graph states naturally arise when spin systems interact via an Ising-type interaction. First, we abstractly define the class of weighted graph states and demonstrate its computational accessibility. We show how reduced density matrices of a small number of spins (∼10) can be computed from arbitrarily large systems using weighted graph techniques and projected entangled pair techniques, and we discuss various entanglement measures accessible from these reduced density matrices. Second, we apply these findings to spin chains and lattices with long-range interactions and analytically derive area laws for the scaling of block-wise entanglement. Then, we turn to disordered spin systems, spin gases, which are connected to random weighted graph states and which share their entanglement properties. Finally, we use a spin gas as a bath that introduces decoherence in single as well as multipartite spin systems. The microscopic, exact decoherence model we obtain can operate in different regimes and exhibit non-Markovian features as well as spatially correlated noise effects
[en] We analyze a microscopic decoherence model in which the total system is described as a spin gas. A spin gas consists of N classically moving particles with additional, interacting quantum degrees of freedom (e.g., spins). For various multipartite entangled probe states, we analyze the decoherence induced by interactions between the probe and environmental spins in such spin gases. We can treat mesoscopic environments (≅105 particles). We present results for a lattice gas, which could be realized by neutral atoms hopping in an optical lattice, and show the effects of non-Markovian and correlated noise, as well as finite-size effects