November 2020

Interference in the Heisenberg Picture of Quantum Field Theory, Local Elements of Reality and Fermions

We describe the quantum interference of a single photon in the Mach-Zehnder interfeQILab Rometer using the Heisenberg picture. Our purpose is to show that the description is local just like in the case of the classical electromagnetic field, the only difference being that the electric and the magnetic fields are, in the quantum case, operators (quantum observables). We then consider a single-electron Mach-Zehnder interfeQILab Rometer and explain what the appropriate Heisenberg picture treatment is in this case. Interestingly, the parity superselection rule forces us to treat the electron differently to the photon. A model using only local quantum observables of different fermionic modes, such as the current operator, is nevertheless still viable to describe phase acquisition. We discuss how to extend this local analysis to coupled fermionic and bosonic fields within the same local formalism of quantum electrodynamics as formulated in the Heisenberg picture.

Asymptotics of SL2C coherent invariant tensors

We study the semiclassical limit of a class of invariant tensors for infinite-dimensional unitary representations of $mathrm{SL}(2,mathbb{C})$ of the principal series, corresponding to generalized Clebsch-Gordan coefficients with $ngeq3$ legs. We find critical configurations of the quantum labels with a power-law decay of the invariants. They describe 3d polygons that can be deformed into one another via a Lorentz transformation. This is defined viewing the edge vectors of the polygons are the electric part of bivectors satisfying a (frame-dependent) relation between their electric and magnetic parts known as $gamma$-simplicity in the loop quantum gravity literature. The frame depends on the SU(2) spin labelling the basis elements of the invariants. We compute a saddle point approximation using the critical points and provide a leading-order approximation of the invariants. The power-law is universal if the SU(2) spins have their lowest value, and $n$-dependent otherwise. As a side result, we provide a compact formula for $gamma$-simplicity in arbitrary frames. The results have applications to the current EPRL model, but also to future research aiming at going beyond the use of fixed time gauge in spin foam models.

Aharonov-Casher and shielded Aharonov-Bohm effects with a quantum electromagnetic field

We use a covariant formalism that is capable of describing the electric and magnetic versions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, as well as the Aharonov-Casher effect, through local interactions of charges and currents with the quantum electromagnetic field. By considering that only local interactions of a quantum particle with the quantum field can affect its behavior, we show that the magnetic Aharonov-Bohm effect must be present even if the solenoid generating the magnetic field is shielded by a perfect conductor, as experimentally demonstrated.

Routed quantum circuits

We argue that the quantum-theoretical structures studied in several recent lines of research cannot be adequately described within the standard framework of quantum circuits. This is in particular the case whenever the combination of subsystems is described by a nontrivial blend of direct sums and tensor products of Hilbert spaces. We therefore propose an extension to the framework of quantum circuits, given by textit{routed linear maps} and textit{routed quantum circuits}. We prove that this new framework allows for a consistent and intuitive diagrammatic representation in terms of circuit diagrams, applicable to both pure and mixed quantum theory, and exemplify its use in several situations, including the superposition of quantum channels and the causal decompositions of unitaries. We show that our framework encompasses the `extended circuit diagrams’ of Lorenz and Barrett [arXiv:2001.07774 (2020)], which we derive as a special case, endowing them with a sound semantics.

Coarse-grained quantum cellular automata

One can think of some physical evolutions as being the emergent-effective result of a microscopic discrete model. Inspired by classical coarse-graining procedures, we provide a simple procedure to coarse-grain color-blind quantum cellular automata that follow Goldilocks rules. The procedure consists in (i) space-time grouping the quantum cellular automaton (QCA) in cells of size $N$; (ii) projecting the states of a cell onto its borders, connecting them with the fine dynamics; (iii) describing the overall dynamics by the border states, that we call signals; and (iv) constructing the coarse-grained dynamics for different sizes $N$ of the cells. A byproduct of this simple toy-model is a general discrete analog of the Stokes law. Moreover we prove that in the spacetime limit, the automaton converges to a Dirac free Hamiltonian. The QCA we introduce here can be implemented by present-day quantum platforms, such as Rydberg arrays, trapped ions, and superconducting qbits. We hope our study can pave the way to a richer understanding of those systems with limited resolution.