Variational quantum algorithms are ubiquitous in applications of noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers. Due to the structure of conventional parametrized quantum gates, the evaluated functions typically are finite Fourier series of the input parameters. In this work, we use this fact to derive new, general parameter-shift rules for single-parameter gates, and provide closed-form expressions to apply them. By combining the general rule with the stochastic parameter-shift rule, we are able to extend this framework to multi-parameter quantum gates. To highlight the advantages of the general parameter-shift rules, we perform a systematic analysis of quantum resource requirements for each rule, and show that a reduction in resources is possible for higher-order derivatives. Using the example of the quantum approximate optimization algorithm, we show that the generalized parameter-shift rule can reduce the number of circuit evaluations significantly when computing derivatives with respect to parameters that feed into multiple gates. Our approach additionally allows for reconstructions of the evaluated function up to a chosen order, leading to generalizations of the Rotosolve and Quantum Analytic Descent optimization algorithms.

Recently it was reported that the spin-coherent state (SCS) positive-operator-valued measure (POVM) can be performed for any spin system by continuous isotropic measurement of the three total spin components [E.~Shojaee, C.~S. Jackson, C.~A. Riofr{\'\i}o, A.~Kalev, and I.~H. Deutsch, Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 121}, 130404 (2018)]. The outcome probability distribution of the SCS POVM for an input quantum state is the generalized $Q$-function, which is defined on the 2-sphere phase space of SCSs. This article develops the theoretical details of the continuous isotropic measurement and places it within the general context of applying curved-phase-space correspondences to quantum systems, indicating their experimental utility by explaining how to analyze this measurement's performance. The analysis is in terms of the Kraus operators that develop over the course of a continuous isotropic measurement. The Kraus operators represent elements of the Lie group $\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb{C})$, a complex version of the usual unitary operators that represent elements of $\mathrm{SU}(2)$. Consequently, the associated POVM elements represent points in the 3-hyperboloid $\mathrm{SU}(2)\backslash\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb{C})$. Three equivalent stochastic techniques, path integral, diffusion (Fokker-Planck) equation, and stochastic differential equations, are applied to show that the POVM quickly limits to the SCS POVM. We apply two basic mathematical tools to the Kraus operators, the Maurer-Cartan form, modified for stochastic applications, and the Cartan decomposition associated with the symmetric pair $\mathrm{SU}(2)\subset\mathrm{SL}(2,\mathbb{C})$. Informed by these tools, the three stochastic techniques are applied directly to the Kraus operators in a representation independent, and thus geometric, way (independent of any spectral information about the spin components).

We demonstrate non-classical cooling on the IBMq cloud quantum computer. We implement a recently proposed refrigeration protocol which relies upon indefinite causal order for its quantum advantage. We use quantum channels which, when used in a well-defined order, are useless for refrigeration. We are able to use them for refrigeration, however, by applying them in a superposition of different orders. Our protocol is by nature relatively robust to noise, and so can be implemented on this noisy platform. As far as the authors are aware, this is the first example of cloud quantum refrigeration.

Since the invention of the laser in the 60s, one of the most fundamental communication channels has been the free-space optical channel. For this type of channel, a number of effects generally need to be considered, including diffraction, refraction, atmospheric extinction, pointing errors and, most importantly, turbulence. Because of all these adverse features, the free-space channel is more difficult to study than a stable fiber-based link. For the same reasons, only recently it has been possible to establish the ultimate performances achievable in quantum communications via free-space channels, together with practical rates for continuous variable (CV) quantum key distribution (QKD). Differently from previous literature, mainly focused on the regime of weak turbulence, this work considers the free-space optical channel in the more challenging regime of moderate-to-strong turbulence, where effects of beam widening and breaking are more important than beam wandering. This regime may occur in long-distance free-space links on the ground, in uplink to high-altitude platform systems (HAPS) and, more interestingly, in downlink from near-horizon satellites. In such a regime we rigorously investigate ultimate limits for quantum communications and show that composable keys can be extracted using CV-QKD. In particular, we apply our results to downlink from satellites at large zenith angles, for which not only turbulence is strong but also refraction causes non-trivial effects in terms of trajectory elongation.

One of the most important and useful entropic uncertainty relations concerns a $d$ dimensional system and two mutually unbiased measurements. In such a setting, the sum of two information entropies is lower bounded by $\ln d$. It has recently been shown that projective measurements subject to operational mutual unbiasedness can also be constructed in a continuous domain, with the help of periodic coarse graining. Here we consider the whole family of R\'enyi entropies applied to these discretized observables and prove that such a scheme does also admit the uncertainty relation mentioned above.

Regarded as one of the most fundamental concepts of classical mechanics and thermodynamics, work has received well-grounded definitions within the quantum framework since the 1970s, having being successfully applied to many contexts. Recent developments on the concept have taken place in the emergent field of quantum thermodynamics, where work is frequently characterised as a stochastic variable. Notwithstanding this remarkable progress, it is still debatable whether some sensible notion of work can be posed for a strictly quantum instance involving a few-particle system prepared in a pure state and abandoned to its closed autonomous dynamics. By treating work as a quantum mechanical observable with a well defined classical limit, here we show that this scenario can be satisfactorily materialised. We prove, by explicit examples, that one can indeed ascribe eigenbases for work operators. This opens the room for frameworks involving quantum superposition and nonlocal steering of work. We also show that the commonly used two-point measurement protocols can be inappropriate to describe work (and other two-time physical quantities), specially in semiclassical regime. However subtle it may be, our quantum mechanical notion of work is experimentally testable and requires an updating of our intuition towards the concept of two-time elements of reality. In this context, we derive a work-energy uncertainty relation and illustrate how energy conservation emerges as an element of the physical reality.

The assumption of measurement independence is required for a local deterministic model to conduct a Bell test. The violation of a Bell inequality by such a model implies that this assumption must be relaxed. The degree to which the assumption needs to be relaxed to achieve violation of some bipartite Bell inequalities, has been investigated recently in [Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 250404(2010), Phys. Rev. A 99, 012121(2019)]. In this work, we study the minimum degree of relaxation required to simulate violations of various well-known tripartite Bell inequalities and opens the possibility of relaxation in multipartite scenario. Local deterministic models are also provided to achieve the violations of these Bell inequalities.

We present a scheme to generate continuous variable bipartite entanglement between two optical modes in a hybrid optical-microwave-plasmonic graphene waveguide system. In this scheme, we exploit the interaction of two light fields coupled to the same microwave mode via Plasmonic Graphene Waveguide to generate two-mode squeezing, which can be used for continuous-variable quantum teleportation of the light signals over large distances. Furthermore, we study the teleportation fidelity of an unknown coherent state. The teleportation protocol is robust against the thermal noise associated with the microwave degree of freedom.

Coherent quantum microwave transmission is key to realizing modular superconducting quantum computers and distributed quantum networks. However, a large number of incoherent photons are thermally generated in the microwave frequency spectrum. Hence, coherent transmission of microwave fields has long been believed to be infeasible without refrigeration. In this work, we propose a novel method for coherent microwave transmission using a typical microwave waveguide at room temperature. The proposed scheme considers two cryogenic nodes (i.e., a transmitter and a receiver) connected by a room-temperature microwave waveguide. At the receiver side, we implement a cryogenic loop antenna coupled to an LC harmonic oscillator inside the output port of the waveguide, while the LC harmonic oscillator is located outside the waveguide. The loop antenna converts the quantum microwave fields (which contain both signal and thermal noise photons) to a quantum voltage across the coupled LC harmonic oscillator. We show that by properly designing the loop antenna, the number of detected noise photons can be significantly less than one. Simultaneously, the detected signal photons can be maintained at a sufficient number greater than one by transmitting a proper number of photons at the input port of the waveguide. For example, we show that for a 10 GHz microwave signal, when using a room-temperature transmission waveguide of 5m length, 35 coherent photons are detected across the LC circuit by transmitting 32x10^4 signal photons at the input port of the waveguide. Interestingly, the number of detected noise photons is maintained as small as 6.3x10^-3. The microwave transmission scheme proposed in this work paves the way towards realizing practical modular quantum computers with a simple architecture.

Nuclear spins in certain solids couple weakly to their environment, making them attractive candidates for quantum information processing and inertial sensing. When coupled to the spin of an optically-active electron, nuclear spins can be rapidly polarized, controlled and read via lasers and radiofrequency fields. Possessing coherence times of several milliseconds at room temperature, nuclear spins hosted by a nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond are thus intriguing systems to observe how classical physical rotation at quantum timescales affects a quantum system. Unlocking this potential is hampered by precise and inflexible constraints on magnetic field strength and alignment in order to optically induce nuclear polarization, which restricts the scope for further study and applications. In this work, we demonstrate optical nuclear spin polarization and rapid quantum control of nuclear spins in a diamond physically rotating at $1\,$kHz, faster than the nuclear spin coherence time. Free from the need to maintain strict field alignment, we are able to measure and control nuclear spins in hitherto inaccessible regimes, such as in the presence of a large, time-varying magnetic field that makes an angle of more than $100^\circ$ to the nitrogen-lattice vacancy axis. The field induces spin mixing between the electron and nuclear states of the qubits, decoupling them from oscillating rf fields. We are able to demonstrate that coherent spin state control is possible at any point of the rotation, and even for up to six rotation periods. We combine continuous dynamical decoupling with quantum feedforward control to eliminate decoherence induced by imperfect mechanical rotation. Our work liberates a previously inaccessible degree of freedom of the NV nuclear spin, unlocking new approaches to quantum control and rotation sensing.

Non-Hermitian systems with parity-time reversal ($\mathcal{PT}$) or anti-$\mathcal{PT}$ symmetry have attracted a wide range of interest owing to their unique characteristics and counterintuitive phenomena. One of the most extraordinary features is the presence of an exception point (EP), across which a phase transition with spontaneously broken $\mathcal{PT}$ symmetry takes place. We implement a Floquet Hamiltonian of a single qubit with anti-$\mathcal{PT}$ symmetry by periodically driving a dissipative quantum system of a single trapped ion. With stroboscopic emission and quantum state tomography, we obtain the time evolution of density matrix for an arbitrary initial state, and directly demonstrate information retrieval, eigenstates coalescence, and topological energy spectra as unique features of non-Hermitian systems.

The capacity of a quantum gate to produce entangled states on a bipartite system is quantified in terms of the entangling power. This quantity is defined as the average of the linear entropy of entanglement of the states produced after applying a quantum gate over the whole set of separable states. Here we focus on symmetric two-qubit quantum gates, acting on the symmetric two-qubit space, and calculate the entangling power in terms of the appropriate local-invariant. A geometric description of the local equivalence classes of gates is given in terms of the $\mathfrak{su}(3)$ Lie algebra root vectors. These vectors define a primitive cell with hexagonal symmetry on a plane, and through the Weyl group the minimum area on the plane containing the whole set of locally equivalent quantum gates is identified. We give conditions to determine when a given quantum gate produces maximally entangled states from separable ones (perfect entanglers). We found that these gates correspond to one fourth of the whole set of locally-distinct quantum gates. The theory developed here is applicable to three-level systems in general, where the non-locality of a quantum gate is related to its capacity to perform non-rigid transformations on the Majorana constellation of a state. The results are illustrated by an anisotropic Heisenberg model, the Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick model, and two coupled quantized oscillators with cross-Kerr interaction.

Quantum discord and quantum uncertainty are two important features of the quantum world. By using tripartite quantum-memory-assisted entropic uncertainty relation, an upper bound for shareability of quantum discord among different partites of the composite system is obtained. This is shown that, for a specific class of tripartite states, the obtained relation could be expressed as monogamy of discord. Moreover, it is illustrated that the relation could be generalized and an upper bound for the shareability of quantum discord for multipartite states is derived.

We observe the continuous emission of photons into a waveguide from a superconducting qubit without the application of an external drive. To explain this observation, we build a two-bath model where the qubit couples simultaneously to a cold bath (the waveguide) and a hot bath (a secondary environment). Our results show that the thermal-photon occupation of the hot bath is up to 0.14 photons, 35 times larger than the cold waveguide, leading to nonequilibrium heat transport with a power of up to 132 zW, as estimated from the qubit emission spectrum. By adding more isolation between the sample output and the first cold amplifier in the output line, the heat transport is strongly suppressed. Our interpretation is that the hot bath may arise from active two-level systems being excited by noise from the output line. We also apply a coherent drive, and use the waveguide to measure thermodynamic work and heat, suggesting waveguide spectroscopy is a useful means to study quantum heat engines and refrigerators. Finally, based on the theoretical model, we propose how a similar setup can be used as a noise spectrometer which provides a new solution for calibrating the background noise of hybrid quantum systems.

Quantum attacks on Feistel constructions have attracted much more attention from worldwide cryptologists. To reduce the time complexity of quantum attacks on 7-round Feistel construction, we propose a quantum meet-in-the-middle attack based on quantum claw finding algorithm and 5-round distinguisher in Q1 model firstly. Compared with quantum attacks in Q2 model, our attack reduce the time complexity from $O({2^n})$ to $O({2^{7n/8}})$. Moreover, our attack belongs to Q1 model, which is more practical than Q2 model. When compared with best classical attacks, our attack not only reduces the time complexity, but also reduces the data and memory complexity by ${2^{n/2}}$ and ${2^{n/4}}$ respectively.

The power of tools, for our understanding of nature and use of it to our benefits, cannot be overstated. One of our newest tools, i.e., a quantum computer, is a computational tool that works according to the quantum principles of nature. It is widely anticipated that a large-scale quantum computer will offer an evermore accurate simulation of nature, opening the floodgates for exciting scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations. Here, we show a complete, instruction-by-instruction rubric to simulate lattice gauge theories (LGTs) of U(1), SU(2), and SU(3) on a quantum computer -- these LGTs describe electroweak and strong forces, key ingredients that form the fabric of our universe. Further provided is a concrete estimate of the quantum computational resources required for an accurate simulation of LGTs of arbitrary dimension and size. The simulations include every element of the Kogut-Susskind Hamiltonian, the standard Hamiltonian formulation of LGTs.

Recently, using conditioning approaches on the high-harmonic generation process induced by intense laser-atom interactions, we have developed a new method for the generation of optical Schr\"odinger cat states (M. Lewenstein et al., arXiv:2008.10221 (2020)). These quantum optical states have been proven to be very manageable as, by modifying the conditions under which harmonics are generated, one can interplay between $\textit{kitten}$ and $\textit{genuine cat}$ states. Here, we demonstrate that this method can also be used for the development of new schemes towards the creation of optical Schr\"odinger cat states, consisting of the superposition of three distinct coherent states. Apart from the interest these kind of states have on their own, we additionally propose a scheme for using them towards the generation of large cat states involving the sum of two different coherent states. The quantum properties of the obtained superpositions aim to significantly increase the applicability of optical Schr\"odinger cat states for quantum technology and quantum information processing.

We present a theoretical demonstration on the generation of entangled coherent states and of coherent state superpositions, with photon numbers and energies orders of magnitude higher than those provided by the current technology. This is achieved by utilizing a quantum mechanical multimode description of the single- and two-color intense laser field driven process of high harmonic generation in atoms. It is found that all field modes involved in the high harmonic generation process are entangled, and upon performing a quantum operation, leads to the generation of high photon number non-classical coherent state superpositions spanning from the far infrared to the extreme-ultraviolet spectral region. These states can be considered as a new resource for fundamental tests of quantum theory and quantum information processing.

Steering criteria are conditions whose violation excludes the possibility of describing the observed measurement statistics with local hidden state (LHS) models. When the available data do not allow to exclude arbitrary LHS models, it may still be possible to exclude LHS models with a specific separability structure. Here, we derive experimentally feasible criteria that put quantitative bounds on the multipartite entanglement of LHS. Our results reveal that separable states may contain hidden entanglement that can be unlocked by measurements on another system, even if no steering between the two systems is possible.

Quantum computing makes use of quantum resources provided by the underlying quantum nature of matter to enhance classical computation. However, current Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) era in quantum computing is characterized by the use of quantum processors comprising from a few tens to, at most, few hundreds of physical qubits without implementing quantum error correction techniques. This limits the scalability in the implementation of quantum algorithms. Digital-analog quantum computing (DAQC) has been proposed as a more resilient alternative quantum computing paradigm to outperform digital quantum computation within the NISQ era framework. It arises from adding the flexibility provided by fast single-qubit gates to the robustness of analog quantum simulations. Here, we perform a careful comparison between digital and digital-analog paradigms under the presence of noise sources. The comparison is illustrated by comparing the performance of the quantum Fourier transform algorithm under a wide range of single- and two-qubit noise sources. Indeed, we obtain that, when the different noise channels usually present in superconducting quantum processors are considered, the fidelity of the QFT algorithm for the digital-analog paradigm outperforms the one obtained for the digital approach. Additionally, this difference grows when the size of the processor scales up, constituting consequently a sensible alternative paradigm in the NISQ era. Finally, we show how the DAQC paradigm can be adapted to quantum error mitigation techniques for canceling different noise sources, including the bang error.

Digital signatures are widely used for providing security of communications. At the same time, the security of currently deployed digital signature protocols is based on unproven computational assumptions. An efficient way to ensure an unconditional (information-theoretic) security of communication is to use quantum key distribution (QKD), whose security is based on laws of quantum mechanics. In this work, we develop an unconditionally secure signatures (USS) scheme that guarantees authenticity and transferability of arbitrary length messages in a QKD network. In the proposed setup, the QKD network consists of two subnetworks: (i) the internal network that includes the signer and with limitation on the number of malicious nodes, and (ii) the external one that has no assumptions on the number of malicious nodes. A price of the absence of the trust assumption in the external subnetwork is a necessity of the assistance from internal subnetwork recipients for the verification of message-signature pairs by external subnetwork recipients. We provide a comprehensive security analysis of the developed scheme, perform an optimization of the scheme parameters with respect to the secret key consumption, and demonstrate that the developed scheme is compatible with the capabilities of currently available QKD devices.

We explore a class of random tensor network models with ``stabilizer'' local tensors which we name Random Stabilizer Tensor Networks (RSTNs). For RSTNs defined on a two-dimensional square lattice, we perform extensive numerical studies of entanglement phase transitions between volume-law and area-law entangled phases of the one-dimensional boundary states. These transitions occur when either (a) the bond dimension $D$ of the constituent tensors is varied, or (b) the tensor network is subject to random breaking of bulk bonds, implemented by forced measurements. In the absence of broken bonds, we find that the RSTN supports a volume-law entangled boundary state with bond dimension $D\geq3$ where $D$ is a prime number, and an area-law entangled boundary state for $D=2$. Upon breaking bonds at random in the bulk with probability $p$, there exists a critical measurement rate $p_c$ for each $D\geq 3$ above which the boundary state becomes area-law entangled. To explore the conformal invariance at these entanglement transitions for different prime $D$, we consider tensor networks on a finite rectangular geometry with a variety of boundary conditions, and extract universal operator scaling dimensions via extensive numerical calculations of the entanglement entropy, mutual information and mutual negativity at their respective critical points. Our results at large $D$ approach known universal data of percolation conformal field theory, while showing clear discrepancies at smaller $D$, suggesting a distinct entanglement transition universality class for each prime $D$. We further study universal entanglement properties in the volume-law phase and demonstrate quantitative agreement with the recently proposed description in terms of a directed polymer in a random environment.

We provide a simple formula on the heating rate under fast and strong periodic driving in classical and quantum many-body systems. The key idea behind the formula is constructing a time-dependent dressed Hamiltonian by moving to a rotating frame, which is found by the high-frequency expansion of the micromotion operator. It is shown that the driving part of the dressed Hamiltonian is much weaker than that of the original Hamiltonian. Consequently, the heating rate is evaluated by applying the linear response theory to the dressed Hamiltonian, rather than the bare Hamiltonian. Our heating-rate formula agrees with numerical results both for classical and quantum systems.

We study the effect of the spin-orbit interaction on heavy holes confined in a double quantum dot in the presence of a magnetic field of arbitrary direction. Rich physics arise as the two hole states of different spin are not only coupled by the spin-orbit interaction but additionally by the effect of site-dependent anisotropic $g$ tensors. It is demonstrated that these effects may counteract in such a way as to cancel the coupling at certain detunings and tilting angles of the magnetic field. This feature may be used in singlet-triplet qubits to avoid leakage errors and implement an electrical spin-orbit switch, suggesting the possibility of task-tailored two-axes control. Additionally, we investigate systems with a strong spin-orbit interaction at weak magnetic fields. By exact diagonalization of the dominant Hamiltonian we find that the magnetic field may be chosen such that the qubit ground state is mixed only within the logical subspace for realistic system parameters, hence reducing leakage errors and providing reliable control over the qubit.

Elucidating photochemical reactions is vital to understand various biochemical phenomena and develop functional materials such as artificial photosynthesis and organic solar cells, albeit its notorious difficulty by both experiments and theories. The best theoretical way so far to analyze photochemical reactions at the level of ab initio electronic structure is the state-averaged multi-configurational self-consistent field (SA-MCSCF) method. However, the exponential computational cost of classical computers with the increasing number of molecular orbitals hinders applications of SA-MCSCF for large systems we are interested in. Utilizing quantum computers was recently proposed as a promising approach to overcome such computational cost, dubbed as SA orbital-optimized variational quantum eigensolver (SA-OO-VQE). Here we extend a theory of SA-OO-VQE so that analytical gradients of energy can be evaluated by standard techniques that are feasible with near-term quantum computers. The analytical gradients, known only for the state-specific OO-VQE in previous studies, allow us to determine various characteristics of photochemical reactions such as the minimal energy (ME) points and the conical intersection (CI) points. We perform a proof-of-principle calculation of our methods by applying it to the photochemical {\it cis-trans} isomerization of 1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene. Numerical simulations of quantum circuits and measurements can correctly capture the photochemical reaction pathway of this model system, including the ME and CI points. Our results illustrate the possibility of leveraging quantum computers for studying photochemical reactions.

Universe is believed to be born out of a quantum state. However, defining any observables associated the quantum properties and their possible observational possibilities in the present universe has gained significant interest recently. In this submission we propose quantum Poincare sphere measurement as an observable quantity which can give us hint of quantumness of the origin of primordial gravitational waves and large scale magnetic field. The Poincare sphere is defined in terms of power spectrum and quantum stokes operators associated with the polarization of those fields, which can be directly measured. To support our results we further explored the possible Bell violation test for a set of generalized pseudo spin operators defined in the polarization space of those fields.

In this paper, spin-orbit coupling induced photovoltaic effect of cold atoms has been studied in a three-trap system which is an two-dimensional extension of a two-trap system reported previously. It is proposed here that atom coherent length is one of the important influence to the resistance of this photovoltaic battery. Current properties of the system for different geometrical structures of the trapping potentials are discussed. Numerical results show extension in the number of traps could cause current increase directly. Quantum master equation at finite temperature is used to treat this opened system. This work may give a theoretical basis for further development of the photovoltaic effect of neutral atoms.

In this Colloquium recent advances in the field of quantum heat transport are reviewed. This topic has been investigated theoretically for several decades, but only during the past twenty years have experiments on various mesoscopic systems become feasible. A summary of the theoretical basis for describing heat transport in one-dimensional channels is first provided. Then the main experimental investigations of quantized heat conductance due to phonons, photons, electrons, and anyons in such channels are presented. These experiments are important for understanding the fundamental processes that underly the concept of a heat conductance quantum for a single channel. Then an illustration on how one can control the quantum heat transport by means of electric and magnetic fields, and how such tunable heat currents can be useful in devices is given. This lays the basis for realizing various thermal device components such as quantum heat valves, rectifiers, heat engines, refrigerators, and calorimeters. Also of interest are fluctuations of quantum heat currents, both for fundamental reasons and for optimizing the most sensitive thermal detectors; at the end of the review the status of research on this intriguing topic is given.

The potential of Si and SiGe-based devices for the scaling of quantum circuits is tainted by device variability. Each device needs to be tuned to operation conditions. We give a key step towards tackling this variability with an algorithm that, without modification, is capable of tuning a 4-gate Si FinFET, a 5-gate GeSi nanowire and a 7-gate SiGe heterostructure double quantum dot device from scratch. We achieve tuning times of 30, 10, and 92 minutes, respectively. The algorithm also provides insight into the parameter space landscape for each of these devices. These results show that overarching solutions for the tuning of quantum devices are enabled by machine learning.