Publications

Authors: Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

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.

Authors: Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

We propose a general argument to show that if a physical system can mediate locally the generation of entanglement between two quantum systems, then it itself must be non-classical. Remarkably, we do not assume any classical or quantum formalism to describe the mediating physical system: our result follows from general information-theoretic principles, drawn from the recently proposed constructor theory of information. This argument provides the indispensable theoretical basis for recently proposed tests of non-classicality in gravity, based on witnessing gravitationally-induced entanglement in quantum probes.

Authors: Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

We discuss a point, which from time to time has been doubted in the literature: all symmetries, such as those induced by the energy and momentum conservation laws, hold in quantum physics not just “on average”, as is sometimes claimed, but exactly in each “branch” of the wavefunction, expressed in the basis where the conserved observable is sharp. We note that for conservation laws to hold exactly for quantum systems in this sense (not just on average), it is necessary to assume the so-called “totalitarian property of quantum theory”, namely that any system capable of measuring a quantum observable must itself be quantised. Hence, if conservation laws are to hold exactly, the idea of a `classical measuring apparatus’ (i.e., not subject to the branching structure) is untenable. We also point out that any other principle having a well-defined formulation within classical physics, such as the Equivalence principle, is also to be extended to the quantum domain in exactly the same way, i.e., branch by branch.

Authors: Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

In the Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect, a superposed charge acquires a detectable phase by enclosing an infinite solenoid, in a region where the solenoid’s electric and magnetic fields are zero. Its generation seems therefore explainable only by the local action of gauge-dependent potentials, not of gauge-independent fields. This was recently challenged by Vaidman, who explained the phase by the solenoid’s current interacting with the electron’s field (at the solenoid). Still, his model has a residual non-locality: it does not explain how the phase, generated at the solenoid, is detectable on the charge. In this paper we solve this non-locality explicitly, by quantising the field. We show that the AB phase is mediated locally by the entanglement between the charge and the photons, like all electromagnetic phases. We also predict a gauge-invariant value for the phase difference at each point along the charge’s path. We propose a realistic experiment to measure this phase difference locally, by partial quantum state tomography on the charge, without closing the interference loop.

Authors: Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

We use a quantum variant of the Sagnac interferometer to argue for the quantum nature of gravity as well as to formulate a quantum version of the equivalence principle. We first present an original derivation of the phase acquired in the conventional Sagnac matter-wave interferometer, within the Hamiltonian formalism. Then we modify the interferometer in two crucial respects. The interfering matter wave is interfered along two different distances from the centre and the interferometer is prepared in a superposition of two different angular velocities. We argue that if the radial and angular degrees of freedom of the matter wave become entangled through this experiment, then, via the equivalence principle, the gravitational field must be non-classical.

Authors: Pablo L. Saldanha, Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2020

Both classical and quantum wave interference phenomena rely on the notion of phase. In both classical as well as quantum electrodynamics the phases are acquired locally; however, the quantum phases have the additional property that they can be transmitted even when the classical value of the degree of freedom relevant for the transfer (such as the value of the electric field at one point) are zero. Here we use a covariant formalism that is capable of explaining 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. We show that Aharonov-Bohm effect, which is just another instance of interference based on a quantum phase, is present even if the solenoid generating the magnetic field is shielded by a superconductor. This is because even though the classical value of the magnetic field is zero in the superconductor (the Meissner effect), the quantum operators pertaining to the magnetic field are non-zero and are furthermore responsible for transmitting the phase information between the solenoid and the electron. The conclusion of our work is that quantum phases cannot be shielded and we believe that this, among other consequences, finally resolves the last outstanding mystery in the Aharonov-Bohm effect.

Authors: Simone Rijavec, Matteo Carlesso, Angelo Bassi, Vlatko Vedral and Chiara Marletto
Year: 2021

The experimental observation of a clear quantum signature of gravity is believed to be out of the grasp of current technology. However, several recent promising proposals to test the possible existence of non-classical features of gravity seem to be accessible by the state-of-art table-top experiments. Among them, some aim at measuring the gravitationally induced entanglement between two masses which would be a distinct non-classical signature of gravity. We explicitly study, in two of these proposals, the effects of decoherence on the system’s dynamics by monitoring the corresponding degree of entanglement. We identify the required experimental conditions necessary to perform successfully the experiments. In parallel, we account also for the possible effects of the Continuous Spontaneous Localization (CSL) model, which is the most known among the models of spontaneous wavefunction collapse. We find that any value of the parameters of the CSL model would completely hinder the generation of gravitationally induced entanglement.

Authors: Chiara Marletto, Nicetu Tibau Vidal and Vlatko Vedral Year: 2020 We describe the quantum interference of a single photon in the Mach-Zehnder interferometer 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 interferometer 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.
Published in Physical Review D

Authors: Emanuele Marconato and Chiara Marletto
Year: 2021

Recently, Vedral and one of us proposed an entanglement-based witness of non-classicality in systems that need not obey quantum theory, based on constructor-information-theoretic ideas, which offers a robust foundation for recently proposed table-top tests of non-classicality in gravity. The witness asserts that if a mediator can entangle locally two quantum systems, then it has to be non-classical. Hall and Reginatto claimed that there are classical systems that can entangle two quantum systems, thus violating our proposed witness. Here we refute that claim, explaining that the counterexample proposed by Hall and Reginatto in fact validates the witness, vindicating the witness of non-classicality in its full generality.

Authors: Chiara Marletto
Year: 2021

Quantum computers are revealing an unexpected new theory of reality — A powerful new idea about how the laws of physics work could bring breakthroughs on everything from quantum gravity to consciousness

Authors: Vlatko Vedral
Year: 2021

We present a fully local treatment of the double slit experiment in the formalism of quantum field theory. Our exposition is predominantly pedagogical in nature and exemplifies the fact that there is an entirely local description of the quantum double slit interference that does not suffer from any supposed paradoxes usually related to the wave-particle duality. The wave-particle duality indeed vanishes in favour of the field picture in which particles should not be regarded as the primary elements of reality and only represent excitations of some specific field configurations. Our treatment is general and can be applied to any other phenomenon involving quantum interference of any bosonic or fermionic field, both spatially and temporally. For completeness, we present the full treatment of single qubit interference in the same spirit.

Authors: Chiara Marletto, Vlatko Vedral, Salvatore Virzì, Alessio Avella, Fabrizio Piacentini, Marco Gramegna, Ivo Pietro Degiovanni, Marco Genovese
Year: 2021

We show that, by utilising temporal quantum correlations as expressed by pseudo-density operators (PDOs), it is possible to recover formally the standard quantum dynamical evolution as a sequence of teleportations in time. We demonstrate that any completely positive evolution can be formally reconstructed by teleportation with different temporally correlated states. This provides a different interpretation of maximally correlated PDOs, as resources to induce quantum time-evolution. Furthermore, we note that the possibility of this protocol stems from the strict formal correspondence between spatial and temporal entanglement in quantum theory. We proceed to demonstrate experimentally this correspondence, by showing a multipartite violation of generalised temporal and spatial Bell inequalities and verifying agreement with theoretical predictions to a high degree of accuracy, in high-quality photon qubits.