Perimeter Institute Quantum Discussions

This series consists of weekly discussion sessions on foundations of quantum Theory and quantum information theory. The sessions start with an informal exposition of an interesting topic, research result or important question in the field. Everyone is strongly encouraged to participate with questions and comments.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.


Wednesday May 20, 2015

Inspired by quantum information approaches to thermodynamics, we introduce a general framework for resource theories, from the perspective of subjective agents. First we formalize a way to think of subjective knowledge through what we call specification spaces, where states of knowledge (or specifications) are represented by sets whose elements are the possible states of reality admitted by an observer. We explore how to conciliate different views of reality via embeddings between specification spaces.


Wednesday Mar 25, 2015

For isolated quantum systems fluctuation theorems are commonly derived within the two-time energy measurement approach. In this talk we will discuss recent developments and studies on generalizations of this approach. We will show that concept of fluctuation theorems is not only of thermodynamic relevance, but that it is also of interest in quantum information theory. In a second part we will show that the quantum fluctuation theorem generalizes to PT-symmetric quantum mechanics with unbroken PT-symmetry.


Wednesday Mar 04, 2015

We study the separability of quantum states in bosonic system. Our main tool here is the "separability witnesses", and a connection between "separability witnesses" and a new kind of positivity of matrices--- "Power Positive Matrices" is drawn. Such connection is employed to demonstrate that multi-qubit quantum states with Dicke states being its eigenvectors is separable if and only if two related Hankel matrices are positive semidefinite.


Wednesday Feb 25, 2015

From the general difficulty of simulating quantum systems using classical systems, and in particular the existence of an efficient quantum algorithm for factoring, it is likely that quantum computation is intrinsically more powerful than classical computation. At present, the best upper bound known for the power of quantum computation is that BQP is in AWPP, where AWPP is a classical complexity class (known to be included in PP, hence PSPACE). This work investigates limits on computational power that are imposed by simple physical, or information theoretic, principles.


Wednesday Feb 18, 2015

We introduce a technique for applying quantum expanders in a distributed fashion, and use it to solve two basic questions: testing whether a bipartite quantum state shared by two parties is the maximally entangled state and disproving a generalized area law. In the process these two questions which appear completely unrelated turn out to be two sides of the same coin. Strikingly in both cases a constant amount of resources are used to verify a global property.


Wednesday Feb 04, 2015

The Elitzur-Vaidman bomb tester allows the detection of a photon-triggered bomb with a photon, without setting the bomb off. This seemingly impossible task can be tackled using the quantum Zeno effect. Inspired by the EV bomb tester, we define the notion of "bomb query complexity". This model modifies the standard quantum query model by measuring each query immediately after its application, and ends the algorithm if a 1 is measured.


Wednesday Dec 10, 2014

From Feynman diagrams via Penrose graphical notation to quantum circuits, graphical languages are widely used in quantum theory and other areas of theoretical physics. The category-theoretical approach to quantum mechanics yields a new set of graphical languages, which allow rigorous pictorial reasoning about quantum systems and processes. One such language is the ZX-calculus, which is built up of elements corresponding to maps in the computational and the Hadamard basis.


Wednesday Dec 03, 2014

Quantum Adiabatic Optimization proposes to solve discrete optimization problems by mapping them onto quantum spin systems in such a way that the optimal solution corresponds to the ground state of the quantum system. The standard method of preparing these ground states is using the adiabatic theorem, which tells us that quantum systems tend to remain in the ground state of a time-dependent Hamiltonian which transforms sufficiently slowly.

Scientific Areas: 


Monday Dec 01, 2014

The study of ground spaces of local Hamiltonians is a fundamental task in condensed matter physics. In terms of computational complexity theory, a common focus in this area has been to estimate a given Hamiltonian’s ground state energy. However, from a physics perspective, it is sometimes more relevant to understand the structure of the ground space itself. In this talk, we pursue the latter direction by introducing the notion of “ground state connectivity” of local Hamiltonians.


Wednesday Nov 26, 2014

In unidirectional communication theory, two of the most prominent problems are those of compressing a source of information and of transmitting data noiselessly over a noisy channel. In 1948, Shannon introduced information theory as a tool to address both of these problems. Since then, information theory has flourished into an important field of its own. It has also been successfully extended to the quantum setting, where it has also served to address questions about quantum source compression and transmission of classical and quantum data over noisy quantum channels.