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The resource theory of asymmetry and some of its applications

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Title: The resource theory of asymmetry and some of its applications
Authors: Ahmadi, Mehdi
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: A useful and unifying concept in quantum information theory is the idea of a consumable "resource". The basic idea behind quantum resource theories is that whenever we face restrictions on the set of operations we can perform, some states (resource states) enable us to perform particular tasks that otherwise would have been impossible. In this thesis we first review a resource theory that recently has gained a lot of attention, namely the resource theory of asymmetry in which one is restricted to symmetric operations and therefore asymmetric states are the resource states. The asymmetry properties of a state relative to some symmetry group specify how and to what extent the given symmetry is broken by the state. In the remainder of the thesis we explain how the ideas developed in this resource theory are related to three different areas in quantum theory: theory of quantum reference frames, the Wigner-Araki-Yanase(WAY) theorem and the conditional probability interpretation of time in quantum mechanics. Theory of quantum reference frames treats reference frames like any other physical system within the formalism of quantum theory, which causes the measurements to be an approximation of the measurements against their classical counterparts. We consider the dynamics of a quantum directional reference frame undergoing repeated interactions. These interactions induce a back-action on the reference which is the central focus of our study. The effect of a precise sequence of measurement outcomes on the reference frame is studied by looking at both the case that the measurement record is averaged over and the case wherein it is retained. We find, in particular, that there is interesting dynamics in the latter situation, which cannot be revealed by considering the average case. We then consider in detail how a sequence of rotationally invariant unitary interactions affects the reference frame, a situation, which leads to quite different dynamics than the case of repeated measurements. Different strategies for correcting reference frame drift is considered given that we have access to a set of particles with polarization opposite to the direction of drift. In particular, we find that, by implementing a suitably chosen unitary interaction after every two measurements, we can eliminate the rotational drift of the reference frame. The WAY theorem establishes an important constraint that conservation laws impose on quantum mechanical measurements. We formulate the WAY theorem in the broader context of resource theories, where one is constrained to a subset of quantum mechanical operations described by a symmetry group. Establishing connections with the theory of quantum state discrimination we obtain optimal unitaries describing the measurement of arbitrary observables, explain how prior information can permit perfect measurements that circumvent the WAY constraint, and provide a framework that establishes a natural ordering on measurement apparatuses through a decomposition into asymmetry and charge subsystems. Finally we review two di erent schemes in the conditional probability interpretation (CPI) of time in quantum mechanics. In these schemes parameter time "t" as it appears in Schrodinder equation is considered to be unobservable, yet one can use an extension of conditional probabilities in order to study dynamics of a system relative to another system, namely the quantum clock. We phrase CPI as a quantum communication protocol which enables us to use the machinery developed in the resource theory of asymmetry. This provides us with a deeper understanding of the decoherence effect caused due to the inaccessibility of the parameter time "t" and that how this effect can be suppressed by choosing an optimal initial state for the quantum clock.
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Date Awarded: Jan-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/10739
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25560/10739
Supervisor: Jennings, David
Rudolph, Terry
Department: Physics
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Physics PhD theses

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