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Title: Resource theories of quantum coherence : foundations and applications
Author: Yadin, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6501 1472
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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One of the fundamental features that separates quantum physics from classical physics is the idea of quantum superposition, also known as coherence. This thesis concentrates on understanding quantum coherence in the mathematical framework of resource theories, viewing it both as a resource to be harnessed and as a way to quantitatively characterise quantum states in contrast to classical states. We first examine the type of coherence resource theory which has emerged recently to cope with general settings where the physical nature of the medium encoding information is not crucial, such as computation. We identify the set of quantum processes in which coherence is neither created nor used, and use these to provide a physically motivated resource theory pictured in terms of interferometry. Using the same concepts, we then find connections between coherence and discord, a type of quantum correlation. In particular, we show how coherence can be used to generate discord, and explore basis-dependent discord as an intermediate quantity. The second part of the thesis applies the resource theory framework to quantify quantum macroscopicity, taken here to mean the extent to which coherence exists in a system on a macroscopic scale. We find the appropriate type of resource theory for this purpose, giving criteria for good measures of macroscopic coherence. We use these criteria to evaluate some previously proposed measures and highlight the role of the quantum Fisher information. Next, we build up measures based on the concept of macroscopic distinguishability and use them to show that macroscopic quantum states are fragile to noise induced by interaction with an environment. Finally, we apply measures based on the Fisher information to a range of experiments involving mechanical degrees of freedom, in order to compare their macroscopicity.
Supervisor: Vedral, Vlatko Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; Wolfson Harrison UK Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available