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H2020

QuProCS Report Summary

Project ID: 641277
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.2.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - QuProCS (Quantum Probes for Complex Systems)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

We are on the verge of a new scientific and technological era as the first quantum simulators able to investigate physical systems that cannot be studied classically are about to be built in the laboratories. Controlling and probing complex quantum systems is of paramount importance for the implementation of these devices.

Quantum simulators are controllable complex quantum systems that emulate the behaviour of other quantum systems whose properties cannot be easily tested. While several models of quantum simulators are currently under construction, the development of effective probing techniques is still lagging behind, despite their crucial role. In most of the quantum simulator experiments measurement techniques are invasive and destructive, destroying not only the very quantum properties from which the simulator stems, but often also the quantum system itself.

QuProCS works on the development of a radically new approach to probe complex quantum systems for quantum simulations, based on the quantification and optimisation of the information that can be extracted by an immersed quantum probe as opposed to a classical one. Furthermore, the ability to coherently control and entangle multiple probes will allow the measurement of a wide range of temporal and spatial correlations, breaking the boundaries of what is currently accessible through the usual classical investigations. This addresses the key issue of how to read out and benchmark quantum simulators, indispensable to bridge the gap between scientific results and concrete engineering technologies.

We will develop optimal probing strategies to read out and benchmark quantum simulators, thus providing the most crucial ingredient for commercial devices.

The concrete objectives that constitute a proof-of-concept of QuProCS targeted breakthrough precisely address this crucial need:

1) Experimental and theoretical characterisation and design of novel quantum probes for quantum simulators in both cold atoms and quantum optical platform.

2) Development of a laboratory prototype of an impurity-based quantum information probe for ultracold atomic gases.

3) Experimental realisation of fully-controllable paradigmatic models of classical and quantum noise with specific frequency spectra in the quantum optical platform.

4) Theoretical and experimental characterisation of different types of correlations (entanglement, quantum discord, classical correlations) present in the quantum simulator by means of entangled quantum probes.

5) Theoretical investigation of novel quantum simulations of non-equilibrium phenomena with ultra cold gases.

6) Theoretical studies of the characterisation and design of quantum probes for complex quantum networks.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The main targeted breakthrough of QuProCS is the development of a radically new approach to the measurement of complex quantum systems for quantum simulators. More specifically, QuProCS works on the experimental and theoretical development of techniques to probe complex quantum systems, based on the quantification and optimisation of the information that can be extracted by an immersed quantum probe as opposed to a classical one.

During the first 18 months of the project we have made notable progress by exploring a variety of quantum probing approaches thus forming a pool of knowledge based on new interdisciplinary research alliances. More in detail, QuProCS teams have worked collaboratively towards the theoretical investigation and experimental implementation of quantum information probes to detect and characterise: quantum correlations, quantum phase transitions, transport properties, and non-equilibrium phenomena in many-body systems and quantum networks. Moreover, a shift in perspective to a complementary viewpoint, is provided by the quantum optical experiments, that have been set up to study how changing the properties of the environment via reservoir engineering modifies the behaviour of the quantum probe.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Quantum simulators can solve foundational problems having a large range of technological applications such as the design and engineering of new quantum materials and the realisation of quantum-enhanced energy conversion devices. QuProCS is directed towards solving two key research goals: the controlled verification/probing of quantum simulations and the identification of novel quantum simulations experimentally realisable with present technology. This will lead to a long-sought-after breakthrough and bridging of the gap between laboratory prototypes and commercial devices.

A second crucial factor for quantum technologies is the ability to harness the inevitable environmental noise. A potentially groundbreaking discovery in this framework is the use of information backflow and memory effects from the environment to enhance the performance of quantum devices by means of reservoir engineering techniques. This is the alternative viewpoint to the quantum information probing new paradigm proposed by QuProCS. These two complementary but intertwined perspectives of QuProCS’ main goal attack on two fronts the main obstacles that have slowed down the advent of commercial quantum technologies. The successful achievement of the QuProCS research plan will therefore lead to a paradigm shift in the way information and communication technologies are currently conceived and applied.

We see the necessary steps leading to economical and societal transformative impact as follows:
1) Experimental verification of both the QuProCS new quantum probing paradigm and test-bed for non-Markovian open quantum systems models proposed in QuProCS.
2) Design and implementation of prototypes of new quantum simulators exploiting quantum information probes.
3) Patenting and creation of spin-off companies for the commercialization of these new quantum devices.
Step 3) will follow on from the present project and the QuProCS workplan has been structured so that there is a natural transition from stage 1) to stages 2) and 3): QuProCS WPs are indeed grouped into a foundational part, a core and the bridge-to-the-future part.

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