October 2020

Post-processing of quantum instruments

Studying sequential measurements is of the utmost importance to both the foundational aspects of quantum theory and the practical implementations of quantum technologies, with both of these applications being abstractly described by the concatenation of quantum instruments into a sequence of certain length. In general, the choice of instrument at any given step in the sequence can be conditionally chosen based on the classical results of all preceding instruments. For two instruments in a sequence we consider the conditional second instrument as an effective way of post-processing the first instrument into a new one. This is similar to how a measurement described by a positive operator-valued measure (POVM) can be post-processed into another by way of classical randomization of its outcomes using a stochastic matrix. In this work we study the post-processing relation of instruments and the partial order it induces on their equivalence classes. We characterize the greatest and the least element of this order, give examples of post-processings between different types of instruments and draw connections between post-processings of some of these instruments and their induced POVMs.

Bosonic and fermionic Gaussian states from Kähler structures

We show that bosonic and fermionic Gaussian states (also known as “squeezed coherent states”) can be uniquely characterized by their linear complestructure $J$ which is a linear map on the classical phase space. This extends conventional Gaussian methods based on covariance matrices and provides a unified framework to treat bosons and fermions simultaneously. Pure Gaussian states can be identified with the triple $(G,Omega,J)$ of compatible K”ahler structures, consisting of a positive definite metric $G$, a symplectic form $Omega$ and a linear complestructure $J$ with $J^2=-1!!1$. Mixed Gaussian states can also be identified with such a triple, but with $J^2neq -1!!1$. We apply these methods to show how computations involving Gaussian states can be reduced to algebraic operations of these objects, leading to many known and some unknown identities. We apply these methods to the study of (A) entanglement and complexity, (B) dynamics of stable systems, (C) dynamics of driven systems. From this, we compile a comprehensive list of mathematical structures and formulas to compare bosonic and fermionic Gaussian states side-by-side.

On quantum superpositions of graphs, no-signalling and covariance

We provide a mathematically and conceptually robust notion of quantum superpositions of graphs. We argue that, crucially, quantum superpositions of graphs require node names for their correct alignment, which we demonstrate through a no-signalling argument. Nevertheless, node names are a fiducial construct, serving a similar purpose to the labelling of points through a choice of coordinates in continuous space. Graph renamings, aka isomorphisms, are understood as a change of coordinates on the graph and correspond to a natively discrete analogue of continuous diffeomorphisms. We postulate renaming invariance as a symmetry principle in discrete topology of similar weight to diffeomorphism invariance in the continuous. We explain how to impose renaming invariance at the level of quantum superpositions of graphs, in a way that still allows us to talk about an observable centred at a specific node.

Effective Quantum Dust Collapse via Surface Matching

The fate of matter forming a black hole is still an open problem, although models of quantum gravity corrected black holes are available. In loop quantum gravity (LQG) models were presented, which resolve the classical singularity in the centre of the black hole by means of a black-to-white hole transition, but neglect the collapse process. The situation is similar in other quantum gravity approaches, where eternal non-singular models are available. In this paper, a strategy is presented to generalise these eternal models to dynamical collapse models by surface matching. Assuming 1) the validity of a static quantum black hole spacetime outside the collapsing matter, 2) homogeneity of the collapsing matter, and 3) differentiability at the surface of the matter fixes the dynamics of the spacetime uniquely. It is argued that these assumptions resemble a collapse of pressure-less dust and thus generalises the Oppenheimer-Snyder-Datt model, although no precise model of the matter has to be assumed. Hawking radiation is systematically neglected in this approach. The junction conditions and the spacetime dynamics are discussed generically for bouncing black hole spacetimes, as proposed by LQG, although the scheme is approach independent. Further, the equations are explicitly solved for the recent model [1] and a global spacetime picture of the collapse is achieved. The causal structure is discussed in detail and the Penrose diagram is constructed. The trajectory of the collapsing matter is completely constructed from an inside and outside observer point of view. The general analysis shows that the matter is collapsing and re-expanding and crosses the Penrose diagram diagonally. This way the infinite tower of Penrose diagrams, as proposed by several LQG models, is generically not cut out. Questions about different timescales of the collapse for in- and outside observers can be answered.

The arrow of time in operational formulations of quantum theory

The operational formulations of quantum theory are drastically time oriented. However, to the best of our knowledge, microscopic physics is time-symmetric. We address this tension by showing that the asymmetry of the operational formulations does not reflect a fundamental time-orientation of physics. Instead, it stems from built-in assumptions about the $users$ of the theory. In particular, these formalisms are designed for predicting the future based on information about the past, and the main mathematical objects contain implicit assumption about the past, but not about the future. The main asymmetry in quantum theory is the difference between knowns and unknowns.