Colloquium: Protecting quantum information against environmental noise
Dieter Suter and Gonzalo A. Álvarez
Rev. Mod. Phys. 88, 041001 (2016)
Published 10 October 2016
Quantum-mechanical systems retain their properties so long as the phase of quantum superpositions evolve stably over time. Contact with an environment can disrupt this phase evolution. But for environments that do not exchange energy with the quantum system, strategies exist where the controlled driving of the system can recover or maintain the quantum phase. This Colloquium surveys the host of techniques that are available to “refocus” the phase when disturbed by various forms of classical or quantum environment. While the first such techniques were developed long ago, ideas from quantum information theory have introduced new strategies for accomplishing this goal.
Quantum state transfer in disordered spin chains: How much engineering is reasonable? | Quant. Inf. Comm. (2015)
Analia Zwick, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Joachim Stolze, and Omar Osenda
The transmission of quantum states through spin chains is an important element in the im- plementation of quantum information technologies. Speed and fidelity of transfer are the main objectives which have to be achieved by the devices even in the presence of imperfections which are unavoidable in any manufacturing process. To reach these goals, several kinds of spin chains have been suggested, which differ in the degree of fine-tuning, or engineering, of the system parameters. In this work we present a systematic study of two important classes of such chains. In one class only the spin couplings at the ends of the chain have to be adjusted to a value different from the bulk coupling constant, while in the other class every coupling has to have a specific value. We demonstrate that configurations from the two different classes may perform similarly when subjected to the same kind of disorder in spite of the large difference in the engineering effort necessary to prepare the system. We identify the system features responsible for these similarities and we perform a detailed study of the transfer fidelity as a function of chain length and disorder strength, yielding empirical scaling laws for the fidelity which are similar for all kinds of chain and all dis- order models. These results are helpful in identifying the optimal spin chain for a given quantum information transfer task. In particular, they help in judging whether it is worthwhile to engineer all couplings in the chain as compared to adjusting only the boundary couplings.
Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance | J. Chem. Phys. (2014)
Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh and Lucio Frydman
J. Chem. Phys. 140, 084205 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4865335
Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling SDR [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the systems composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.
© 2014 AIP Publishing LLC
Quantum simulations of localization effects with dipolar interactions
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Robin Kaiser, Dieter Suter
Quantum information processing often uses systems with dipolar interactions. Here a nuclear spin-based quantum simulator is used to study the spreading of information in such a dipolar-coupled system. While the information spreads with no apparent limits in the case of ideal dipolar couplings, additional perturbations limit the spreading, leading to localization. In previous work [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 230403 (2010)], it was found that the system size reaches a dynamic equilibrium that decreases with the square of the perturbation strength. This work examines the impact of a disordered Hamiltonian with dipolar interactions. It shows that the expansion of the cluster of spins freezes in the presence of large disorder, reminiscent of Anderson localization of non-interacting waves in a disordered potential.
Keywords: spin dynamics;dipolar interaction;decoherence;localization;disorder;NMR;long range interactions;quantum information processing
Annalen der Physik
Special Issue on “Quantum Simulations“, featuring review papers written by last year’s Nobel Prize winners describing their foundational work (Wineland and Haroche). Issue edited by: Rainer Blatt, Immanuel Bloch, Ignacio Cirac, Peter Zoller.
Ann. Phys. 525, 833 (2013).
© 2013 by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR | J. Magn. Reson. (2013)
Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman.
Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
•NOGSE, a novel diffusion MR approach for measuring pore sizes, is presented and analyzed.
•NOGSE is based on a constant time and a constant number of oscillating gradients.
•Experiments on microstructural phantoms, spinal cords and brains, validate NOGSE.
Noninvasive measurements of microstructure in materials, cells, and in biological tissues, constitute a unique capability of gradient-assisted NMR. Diffusion–diffraction MR approaches pioneered by Callaghan demonstrated this ability; Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo OGSE methodologies tackle the demanding gradient amplitudes required for observing diffraction patterns by utilizing constant-frequency oscillating gradient pairs that probe the diffusion spectrum, Dω. Here we present a new class of diffusion MR experiments, termed Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE, which dynamically probe multiple frequencies of the diffusion spectral density at once, thus affording direct microstructural information on the compartment’s dimension. The NOGSE methodology applies N constant-amplitude gradient oscillations; N − 1 of these oscillations are spaced by a characteristic time x, followed by a single gradient oscillation characterized by a time y, such that the diffusion dynamics is probed while keeping N − 1x + y ≡ TNOGSE constant. These constant-time, fixed-gradient-amplitude, multi-frequency attributes render NOGSE particularly useful for probing small compartment dimensions with relatively weak gradients – alleviating difficulties associated with probing Dω frequency-by-frequency or with varying relaxation weightings, as in other diffusion-monitoring experiments. Analytical descriptions of the NOGSE signal are given, and the sequence’s ability to extract small compartment sizes with a sensitivity towards length to the sixth power, is demonstrated using a microstructural phantom. Excellent agreement between theory and experiments was evidenced even upon applying weak gradient amplitudes. An MR imaging version of NOGSE was also implemented in ex vivo pig spinal cords and mouse brains, affording maps based on compartment sizes. The effects of size distributions on NOGSE are also briefly analyzed.
Restricted diffusion; Oscillating gradients; OGSE; Microstructure; Magnetic resonance imaging; CNS; Gradient echoes; Selective dynamical recoupling
Robustness of Spin-Chain State-Transfer Schemes
Joachim Stolze, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Omar Osenda, Analia Zwick
in Quantum State Transfer and Network Engineering, edited by G. M. Nikolopoulos and I. Jex (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014), pp. 149–182.
Spin chains are linear arrangements of qubits (spin-1/2 objects) with interactions between nearest or more distant neighbors. They have been considered for quantum information transfer between subunits of a quantum information processing device at short or intermediate distances. The most frequently studied task is the transfer of a single-qubit state. Several protocols have been developed to achieve this goal, broadly divisible into two classes, fully-engineered and boundary-controlled spin chains. We discuss state transfer induced by the natural dynamics of these two classes of systems, and the influence of deviations from the ideal system configuration, that is, manufacturing errors in the nearest-neighbor spin couplings. The fidelity of state transfer depends on the chain length and the disorder strength. We observe a power-law scaling of the fidelity deficit, i.e. the deviation from perfect transfer. Boundary-controlled chains can provide excellent fidelity under suitable circumstances and are potentially less difficult to manufacture and control than fully-engineered chains. We also review other existing theoretical work on the robustness of quantum state transfer as well as proposals for experimental implementation.