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Title: Quantum telepathy and the analysis of particle presence
Author: Arvidsson-Shukur, David Roland Miran
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 5364
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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The field of quantum mechanics has revolutionised physics as a subject. Areas such as information theory, computer science and physical sensing have all been affected by the tremendous successes of various quantum protocols. In this thesis I present my contribution to the development of such non-classical protocols. In classical communication theory a message is always carried by physical particles that interact with a transmitter, after which they travel to a receiver. In this thesis I outline a quantum protocol which allows a receiver to obtain a message without receiving any physical object or particles that have interacted with the transmitter-that is, counterfactually. I build my protocol for counterfactual communication on the principles of interaction-free measurements, ensuring that information always propagates in the opposite direction to the protocol particles. The protocol shows how quantum mechanics breaks the previous premise of communication theory. From the perspective of local observers, it is a beautiful manifestation of the non-locality of interaction-free measurements. Furthermore, it is highly robust against experimental errors and external disturbances. The majority of this part of the thesis is based on my published article 'Quantum counterfactual communication without a weak trace' [Phys. Rev. A 94, 062303 (2016)]. Previous to my work, Salih et al. attempted to design a counterfactual communication protocol [Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 170502 (2013)]. This protocol has been highly controversial. As counterfactual phenomena impose restrictions on the inter-measurement paths of quantum particles, and the physical reality of such paths lacks description in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, an extension of current quantum theory is required to facilitate a discussion. In this thesis I present an operational and interpretation-independent methodology, enabling the discussion of inter-measurement paths of quantum particles. I start by considering the interferometers of counterfactual protocols, making the basic assumption that any quantum evolution naturally involves uncontrolled weak interactions. I then show how the Fisher information of these weak interactions, available at the output of counterfactual experiments, can be used to discuss the pre-measurement past of the particles. Based on this analysis, the protocol developed by Salih et al. is found to strongly violate counterfactuality. However, my protocol is more flexible in that it allows particles to propagate in the opposite direction to the message. This leads to counterfactuality being satisfied-even in the presence of large experimental errors. These results are observed both analytically and numerically. This part of the thesis is based on my article 'Evaluation of counterfactuality in counterfactual communication protocols' [Phys. Rev. A 96, 062316 (2017)]. The numerical methods are inspired by another of my publications: 'Protocol for fermionic positive-operator-valued measures' [Phys. Rev. A 96, 052305 (2017)]. Finally, as the Fisher information measure is found to be useful in evaluating counterfactual protocols, I extend my work by investigating the quantum Fisher information in experiments with general discrete quantum circuits. I prove that the quantum Fisher information of a two-level interaction in a quantum circuit can be expressed by a simple formula. Under certain phase-relations, the formula provides a straightforward connection between the abstract concept of the inter-measurement wavefunction and the quantum Fisher information at the output. With regard to how the information obtained from a certain volume of space influences our perception of classical objects, I argue that the quantum Fisher information measure is highly useful in describing quantum objects. If this measure is applied to observers with a limited set of the experimental measurement outcomes, a quantum object can appear to follow non-classical discontinuous paths. This supports the remarkable conclusion that our perception of the past of a quantum object is subjectively dependent on the measurement we conduct on it.
Supervisor: Barnes, Crispin Henry William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: quantum mechanics ; foundations of quantum mechanics ; quantum information ; fundamental quantum physics