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When quantum-information scrambling met quasiprobabilities



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Recording Details

Scientific Areas: 
PIRSA Number: 
19040100

Abstract

Two topics have been gaining momentum in different fields of physics: At the intersection of condensed matter and high-energy physics lies the out-of-time-ordered correlator (OTOC). The OTOC reflects quantum many-body equilibration; chaos; and scrambling, the spread of quantum information through many-body entanglement. In quantum optics and quantum foundations, quasiprobabilities resemble probabilities but can become negative and nonreal. Such nonclassical values can signal nonclassical physics, such as the capacity for superclassical computation. I unite these two topics, showing that the OTOC equals an average over a quasiprobability distribution. The distribution, a set of numbers, contains more information than the OTOC, one number that follows from coarse-graining over the distribution. Aside from providing insight into the OTOC’s fundamental nature, the OTOC quasiprobability has several applications: Theoretically, the quasiprobability interrelates scrambling with uncertainty relations, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, and chaos. Experimentally, the quasiprobability points to a scheme for measuring the OTOC (via weak measurements, which refrain from disturbing the measured system much). The quasiprobability also signals false positives in attempts to measure scrambling of open systems. Finally, the quasiprobability underlies a quantum advantage in metrology.

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