Weekly Papers on Quantum Foundations (23)

Authors: David SchmidKatja ReidRobert W. Spekkens

The common wisdom in the field of quantum information theory is that when a system is initially correlated with its environment, the map describing its evolution may fail to be completely positive. If true, this would have practical and foundational significance. We here demonstrate, however, that the common wisdom is mistaken. We trace the error to the standard argument for how the evolution map ought to be defined. We show that it sometimes fails to define a linear map or any map at all and that these pathologies persist even in completely classical examples. Drawing inspiration from the framework of classical causal models, we argue that the correct definition of the evolution map is obtained by considering a counterfactual scenario wherein the system is reprepared independently of any systems in its causal past while the rest of the circuit remains the same, yielding a map that is always completely positive. In a post-mortem on the standard argument, we highlight two distinct mistakes that retrospectively become evident (in its application to completely classical examples): (i) the types of constraints to which it appealed are constraints on what one can infer about the final state of a system based on its initial state, where such inferences are based not just on the cause-effect relation between them-which defines the correct evolution map-but also on the common cause of the two; (ii) in a (retrospectively unnecessary) attempt to introduce variability in the input state, it inadvertently introduced variability in the inference map itself, then tried to fit the input-output pairs associated to these different maps with a single map.

Authors: Chris NageleEbubechukwu O. Ilo-OkekePeter P. RohdeJonathan P. DowlingTim Byrnes

The entanglement swapping protocol is analyzed in a relativistic setting, where shortly after the entanglement swapping is performed, a Bell violation measurement is performed. From an observer in the laboratory frame, a Bell violation is observed due to entanglement swapping taking place, but in a moving frame the order of the measurements is reversed, and a Bell violation is observed even though no entanglement is present. Although the measurement results are identical, the wavefunctions for the two frames are different— one is entangled and the other is not. Furthermore, for boosts in a perpendicular direction, in the presence of decoherence, we show that a maximum Bell violation can occur across non-simultaneous points in time. This is a signature of entanglement that is spread across both space and time, showing both the non-local and non-simultaneous feature of entanglement.

Wuthrich, Christian (2012) When the actual world is not even possible. [Preprint]
Moulavi Ardakani, Reza (2017) Time Reversal Invariance in Quantum Mechanics.
Christian, Joy (2018) Quantum Correlations are Weaved by the Spinors of the Euclidean Primitives. Royal Society Open Science, 5 (180526). pp. 1-40. ISSN 2054-5703
McCoy, C.D. (2018) The implementation, interpretation, and justification of likelihoods in cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 62. pp. 19-35. ISSN 1355-2198
McCoy, C.D. and Callender, Craig (2017) Time in Cosmology. [Preprint]

Author(s): Yu Guo, Xiao-Min Hu, Bi-Heng Liu, Yun-Feng Huang, Chuan-Feng Li, and Guang-Can Guo

Growing interest has been invested in exploring high-dimensional quantum systems, for their promising perspectives in certain quantum tasks. How to characterize a high-dimensional entanglement structure is one of the basic questions to take full advantage of it. However, it is not easy for us to cat…
[Phys. Rev. A 97, 062309] Published Thu Jun 07, 2018

Author(s): Luca Mancino, Marco Sbroscia, Emanuele Roccia, Ilaria Gianani, Valeria Cimini, Mauro Paternostro, and Marco Barbieri

The emergence of realistic properties is a key problem in understanding the quantum-to-classical transition. In this respect, measurements represent a way to interface quantum systems with the macroscopic world: these can be driven in the weak regime, where a reduced back-action can be imparted by c…
[Phys. Rev. A 97, 062108] Published Thu Jun 07, 2018


In the following paper, the author will try to test the meaning of the transcendental approach in respect of the inner changes implied by the idea of quantum gravity. He will firstly describe the basic methodological Kant’s aim, viz. the grounding of a meta-science of physics as the a priori corpus of physical knowledge. After that, he will take into account the problematic physical and philosophical relationship between the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics; in showing how the elementary ontological and epistemological assumptions of experience result to be changed within them, he will also show the further modifications occurred in the development of the loop quantum gravity. He will particularly focus on the tough problem of the relationship space-matter, in order to settle the decisive question about the possibility of keeping a transcendental approach in the light of quantum gravity. He will positively answer by recalling Cassirer’s theory of the invariants of experience, although he will also add some problematic issues arising from the new physical context.

Wayne, Andrew (2017) Point-particle explanations: the case of gravitational waves. Synthese. ISSN 1573-0964
A theoretical breakthrough has shown that quantum computers are not just faster versions of ordinary computers, but something much stranger

Masking Quantum Information is Impossible


on 2018-6-05 10:00am GMT

Author(s): Kavan Modi, Arun Kumar Pati, Aditi Sen(De), and Ujjwal Sen

Theorists predict that quantum information can’t be securely “locked” in a vault.

[Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 230501] Published Tue Jun 05, 2018

Author(s): Libor Caha, Zeph Landau, and Daniel Nagaj

We present a collection of results about the clock in Feynman’s computer construction and Kitaev’s local Hamiltonian problem. First, by analyzing the spectra of quantum walks on a line with varying end-point terms, we find a better lower bound on the gap of the Feynman Hamiltonian, which translates …
[Phys. Rev. A 97, 062306] Published Tue Jun 05, 2018


To solve the probability problem of the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, D. Wallace has presented a formal proof of the Born rule via decision theory, as proposed by D. Deutsch. The idea is to get subjective probabilities from rational decisions related to quantum measurements, showing the non-probabilistic parts of the quantum formalism, plus some rational constraints, ensure the squared modulus of quantum amplitudes play the role of such probabilities. We provide a new presentation of Wallace’s proof, reorganized to simplify some arguments, and analyze it from a formal perspective. Similarities with classical decision theory are made explicit, to clarify its structure and main ideas. A simpler notation is used, and details are filled in, making it easier to follow and verify. Some problems have been identified, and we suggest possible corrections.

Authors: Dimitrios Krommydas

We study violations of the Null Energy Condition (NEC) in Quantum Field Theory (QFT) and their implications. For the first part of the project, we examine these violations for classes of already known and novel (first discussed here) QFT states. Next, we discuss the implications of these violations focusing on the example of Wormhole Traversability. After reviewing the current literature on the existing restrictions on these violations, we conjecture that NEC violating states are incompatible with the Semi-Classical Gravity approximation. We argue that this conjecture provides the only way out of the problems introduced by the violations of NEC in this regime. Building on this, we propose a bound that should hold for all QFT states. Finally, we show that both our conjecture and bound hold for some relevant classes of QFT states.

Authors: Roderich Tumulka

The biggest and most lasting among David Bohm’s (1917-1992) many achievements is to have proposed a picture of reality that explains the empirical rules of quantum mechanics. This picture, known as pilot wave theory or Bohmian mechanics among other names, is still the simplest and most convincing explanation available. According to this theory, electrons are point particles in the literal sense and move along trajectories governed by Bohm’s equation of motion. In this paper, I describe some more recent developments and extensions of Bohmian mechanics, concerning in particular relativistic space-time and particle creation and annihilation.

Authors: H.-L. HuangY.-H. LuoB. BaiY.-H. DengH. WangH.-S. ZhongY.-Q. NieW.-H. JiangX.-L. WangJ. ZhangLi LiNai-Le LiuTim ByrnesJ. P. DowlingChao-Yang LuJian-Wei Pan

Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiment investigates the indeterminacy of wave-particle duality and the role played by the measurement apparatus in quantum theory. Due to the inconsistency with classical physics, it has been generally believed that it is not possible to reproduce the delayed-choice experiment using a hidden variable theory. Recently, it was shown that this assumption was incorrect, and in fact Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiment can be explained by a causal two dimensional hidden-variable theory [R. Chaves, G. B. Lemos, and J. Pienaar, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 190401 (2018)]. Here, we carry out an experiment of a device-independent delayed-choice experiment using photon states that are space-like separated, and demonstrate a loophole-free version of the delayed-choice protocol that is consistent with quantum theory but inconsistent with any causal two-dimensional hidden variable theory. This salvages Wheeler’s thought experiment and shows that causality can be used to test quantum theory in a complementary way to the Bell and Leggett-Garg tests.

Quantum electrodynamics and the proton size

Quantum electrodynamics and the proton size, Published online: 04 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0166-0

Tests of one of the most fundamental theories in physics reveal an issue with the size of the proton — or the Rydberg constant. Thomas Udem explains.

Butterfield, Jeremy (2018) On Dualities and Equivalences Between Physical Theories. [Preprint]

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