September 2020

Locality and General Vacua in Quantum Field Theory

We extend the framework of general boundary quantum field theory (GBQFT) to achieve a fully local description of realistic quantum field theories. This requires the quantization of non-K”ahler polarizations which occur generically on timelike hypersurfaces in Lorentzian spacetimes as has been shown recently. We achieve this in two ways: On the one hand we replace Hilbert space states by observables localized on hypersurfaces, in the spirit of algebraic quantum field theory. On the other hand we apply the GNS construction to twisted star-structures to obtain Hilbert spaces, motivated by the notion of reflection positivity of the Euclidean approach to quantum field theory. As one consequence, the well-known representation of a vacuum state in terms of a sea of particle pairs in the Hilbert space of another vacuum admits a vast generalization to non-K”ahler vacua, particularly relevant on timelike hypersurfaces.

The integrability of Virasoro charges for axisymmetric Killing horizons

Through the analysis of null symplectic structure, we derive the condition for integrable Virasoro generators on the covariant phase space of axisymmetric Killing horizons. A weak boundary condition selects a special relationship between the two temperatures for the putative CFT. When the integrability is satisfied for both future and past horizons, the two central charges are equal. At the end we discuss the physical implications.

Spacetime as a Tightly Bound Quantum Crystal

We review how reparametrization of space and time, namely the procedure where both are made to depend on yet another parameter, can be used to formulate quantum physics in a way that is naturally conducive to relativity. This leads us to a second quantised formulation of quantum dynamics in which different points of spacetime represent different modes. We speculate on the fact that our formulation can be used to model dynamics in spacetime the same way that one models propagation of an electron through a crystal lattice in solid state physics. We comment on the implications of this for the notion of mode entanglement as well as for the fully relativistic Page-Wootters formulation of the wavefunction of the Universe.

Quantum control using quantum memory

We propose a new quantum numerical scheme to control the dynamics of a quantum walker in a two dimensional space-time grid. More specifically, we show how, introducing a quantum memory for each of the spatial grid, this result can be achieved simply by acting on the initial state of the whole system, and therefore can be exactly controlled once for all. As example we prove analytically how to encode in the initial state any arbitrary walker’s mean trajectory and variance. This brings significantly closer the possibility of implementing dynamically interesting physics models on medium term quantum devices, and introduces a new direction in simulating aspects of quantum field theories (QFTs), notably on curved manifold.

Gauge Is More Than Mathematical Redundancy

Physical systems may couple to other systems through variables that are not gauge invariant. When we split a gauge system into two subsystems, the gauge-invariant variables of the two subsystems have less information than the gauge invariant variables of the original system; the missing information regards degrees of freedom that express relations between the subsystems. All this shows that gauge invariance is a formalization of the relational nature of physical degrees of freedom. The recent developments on boundary variables and boundary charges are clarified by this observation.

Comment on “Revisiting dynamics of quantum causal structures –when can causal order evolve?”

In the last few years, there has been increasing interest in quantum processes with indefinite causal order. Process matrices are a convenient framework to study such processes. Ref. [1] defines higher order transformations from process matrices to process matrices and shows that no continuous and reversible transformation can change the causal order of a process matrix. Ref. [2] argues, based on a set of examples, that there are situations where a process can change its causal order over time. Ref. [2] claims that the formalism of higher order transformations is not general enough to capture its examples. Here we show that this claim is incorrect. Moreover, a crucial example of Ref. [2] has already been explicitly considered in Ref. [1] and shown to be compatible with its results.

A no-go theorem for the persistent reality of Wigner’s friend’s perception

The notorious Wigner’s friend thought experiment (and modifications thereof) has in recent years received renewed interest especially due to new arguments that force us to question some of the fundamental assumptions of quantum theory. In this paper, we formulate a no-go theorem for the persistent reality of Wigner’s friend’s perception, which allows us to conclude that the perceptions that the friend has of her own measurement outcomes at different times cannot “share the same reality”, if seemingly natural quantum mechanical assumptions are met. More formally, this means that, in a Wigner’s friend scenario, there is no joint probability distribution for the friend’s perceived measurement outcomes at two different times, that depends linearly on the initial state of the measured system and whose marginals reproduce the predictions of unitary quantum theory. This theorem entails that one must either (1) propose a nonlinear modification of the Born rule for two-time predictions, (2) sometimes prohibit the use of present information to predict the future — thereby reducing the predictive power of quantum theory — or (3) deny that unitary quantum mechanics makes valid single-time predictions for all observers. We briefly discuss which of the theorem’s assumptions are more likely to be dropped within various popular interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Searching via nonlinear quantum walk on the 2D-grid

We provide numerical evidence that the nonlinear searching algorithm introduced by Wong and Meyer cite{meyer2013nonlinear}, rephrased in terms of quantum walks with effective nonlinear phase, can be extended to the finite 2-dimensional grid, keeping the same computational advantage BHg{with} respect to the classical algorithms. For this purpose, we have considered the free lattice Hamiltonian, with linear dispersion relation introduced by Childs and Ge cite{Childs_2014}. The numerical simulations showed that the walker finds the marked vertein $O(N^{1/4} log^{3/4} N) $ steps, with probability $O(1/log N)$, for an overall complexity of $O(N^{1/4}log^{7/4}N)$. We also proved that there exists an optimal choice of the walker parameters to avoid that the time measurement precision affects the complexity searching time of the algorithm.

The information-theoretic foundation of thermodynamic work extraction

In this paper I apply newly-proposed information-theoretic principles to thermodynamic work extraction. I show that if it is possible to extract work deterministically from a physical system prepared in any one of a set of states, then those states must be distinguishable from one another. This result is formulated independently of scale and of particular dynamical laws; it also provides a novel connection between thermodynamics and information theory, established via the law of conservation of energy (rather than the second law of thermodynamics). Albeit compatible with these conclusions, existing thermodynamics approaches cannot provide a result of such generality, because they are scale-dependent (relying on ensembles or coarse-graining) or tied to particular dynamical laws. This paper thus provides a broader foundation for thermodynamics, with implications for the theory of von Neumann’s universal constructor