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Title: Quantum coins and quantum sampling
Author: Dale, Howard
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 0808
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2017
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Quantum computing is rapidly becoming one of the largest research areas in quantum physics and yet we are still unable to prove the superiority of quantum computing over classical with the exception of a few contrived and unrealistic scenarios. Understanding the areas in which quantum computing provides an advantage and, more importantly, where that advantage comes from is the key to making progress in the field. We certainly do not solve this mystery in this thesis but do explore some unconventional routes through which answers may be found in the future. To this end we explore quantum advantage in a different computational setting. Rather than working with Turing Machines as most research does, we focus on the Bernoulli Factory: a randomness processing scheme studied in the fields of statistics and computer science. The Bernoulli Factory takes an infinite string of random bits generated with a fixed unknown bias as input and outputs a single random bit, the bias of which is a function of the input bias. This can be seen more intuitively as generating one biased coin from another, given a desired relationship between the two biases. The Bernoulli Factory is inherently probabilistic, like quantum mechanics, and so, it leads us to questions about the fundamental nature of quantum randomness and quantum sampling. We find, as we hoped, that the Bernoulli Factory is more tractable than the Turing Machine and that we are able to prove quantum superiority in both resource efficiency and classes of computable functions. We first give the quantum analogue of the classical Keane-O'’Brien theorem which establishes the increased class of computable functions for the quantum case. We then adjust the problem in a variety of ways, such as introducing multiple coins, errors in state preparation, phases and restriction on the bias or operations allowed. These lead to additional results which lend insight into the problems faced in quantum computing as well as the nature of quantum randomness.
Supervisor: Rudolph, Terry ; Jennings, David Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral