Abstract:
The study and control of coherence in quantum systems is one of the most exciting recent developments in physics. Quantum coherence plays a crucial role in emerging quantum technologies as well as fundamental experiments. A major obstacle to the utilization of quantum effects is decoherence, primarily in the form of dephasing that destroys quantum coherence, and leads to effective classical behaviour. We show that there are universal relationships governing dephasing, which constrain the relative rates at which quantum correlations can disappear. These effectively lead to speed limits which become especially important in multi-partite systems.

Abstract:
Entanglement speeds up evolution of a pure bipartite spin state, in line with the time energy uncertainty. However if the state is mixed this is not necessarily the case. We provide a counter example and point to other factors affecting evolution in mixed states, including classical correlations and entropy.

Abstract:
Inequalities of Mandelstam-Tamm and Margolus-Levitin type provide lower bounds on the time it takes for a quantum system to evolve from one state into another. Knowledge of such bounds, called quantum speed limits, is of utmost importance in virtually all areas of physics, where determination of the minimum time required for a quantum process is of interest. Most Mandelstam-Tamm and Margolus-Levitin inequalities found in the literature have been derived from growth estimates for the Bures length, which is a statistical distance measure. In this paper we derive such inequalities by differential geometric methods, and we compare the obtained quantum speed limits with those involving the Bures length. We also characterize the Hamiltonians which optimize the evolution time for generic finite-level quantum systems.

Abstract:
Bounds to the speed of evolution of a quantum system are of fundamental interest in quantum metrology, quantum chemical dynamics and quantum computation. We derive a time-energy uncertainty relation for open quantum systems undergoing a general, completely positive and trace preserving (CPT) evolution which provides a bound to the quantum speed limit. When the evolution is of the Lindblad form, the bound is analogous to the Mandelstam-Tamm relation which applies in the unitary case, with the role of the Hamiltonian being played by the adjoint of the generator of the dynamical semigroup. The utility of the new bound is exemplified in different scenarios, ranging from the estimation of the passage time to the determination of precision limits for quantum metrology in the presence of dephasing noise.

Abstract:
The resource theory of asymmetry is a framework for classifying and quantifying the symmetry-breaking properties of both states and operations relative to a given symmetry. In the special case where the symmetry is the set of translations generated by a fixed observable, asymmetry can be interpreted as coherence relative to the observable eigenbasis, and the resource theory of asymmetry provides a framework to study this notion of coherence. We here show that this notion of coherence naturally arises in the context of quantum speed limits. Indeed, the very concept of speed of evolution, i.e., the inverse of the minimum time it takes the system to evolve to another (partially) distinguishable state, is a measure of asymmetry relative to the time translations generated by the system Hamiltonian. Furthermore, the celebrated Mandelstam-Tamm and Margolus-Levitin speed limits can be interpreted as upper bounds on this measure of asymmetry by functions which are themselves measures of asymmetry in the special case of pure states. Using measures of asymmetry that are not restricted to pure states, such as the Wigner-Yanase skew information, we obtain extensions of the Mandelstam-Tamm bound which are significantly tighter in the case of mixed states. We also clarify some confusions in the literature about coherence and asymmetry, and show that measures of coherence are a proper subset of measures of asymmetry.

Abstract:
Classical population genetics a priori assigns fitness to alleles without considering molecular or functional properties of proteins that these alleles encode. Here we study population dynamics in a model where fitness can be inferred from physical properties of proteins under a physiological assumption that loss of stability of any protein encoded by an essential gene confers a lethal phenotype. Accumulation of mutations in organisms containing Gamma genes can then be represented as diffusion within the Gamma dimensional hypercube with adsorbing boundaries which are determined, in each dimension, by loss of a protein stability and, at higher stability, by lack of protein sequences. Solving the diffusion equation whose parameters are derived from the data on point mutations in proteins, we determine a universal distribution of protein stabilities, in agreement with existing data. The theory provides a fundamental relation between mutation rate, maximal genome size and thermodynamic response of proteins to point mutations. It establishes a universal speed limit on rate of molecular evolution by predicting that populations go extinct (via lethal mutagenesis) when mutation rate exceeds approximately 6 mutations per essential part of genome per replication for mesophilic organisms and 1 to 2 mutations per genome per replication for thermophilic ones. Further, our results suggest that in absence of error correction, modern RNA viruses and primordial genomes must necessarily be very short. Several RNA viruses function close to the evolutionary speed limit while error correction mechanisms used by DNA viruses and non-mutant strains of bacteria featuring various genome lengths and mutation rates have brought these organisms universally about 1000 fold below the natural speed limit.

Abstract:
An indispensable part of our lives, computing has also become essential to industries and governments. Steady improvements in computer hardware have been supported by periodic doubling of transistor densities in integrated circuits over the last fifty years. Such Moore scaling now requires increasingly heroic efforts, stimulating research in alternative hardware and stirring controversy. To help evaluate emerging technologies and enrich our understanding of integrated-circuit scaling, we review fundamental limits to computation: in manufacturing, energy, physical space, design and verification effort, and algorithms. To outline what is achievable in principle and in practice, we recall how some limits were circumvented, compare loose and tight limits. We also point out that engineering difficulties encountered by emerging technologies may indicate yet-unknown limits.

Abstract:
The Mandelstam-Tamm and Margolus-Levitin inequalities play an important role in the study of quantum mechanical processes in Nature, since they provide general limits on the speed of dynamical evolution. However, to date there has been only one derivation of the Margolus-Levitin inequality. In this paper, alternative geometric derivations for both inequalities are obtained from the statistical distance between quantum states. The inequalities are shown to hold for unitary evolution of pure and mixed states, and a counterexample to the inequalities is given for evolution described by completely positive trace-preserving maps. The counterexample shows that there is no quantum speed limit for non-unitary evolution.

Abstract:
Entanglement is closely related to some fundamental features of the dynamics of composite quantum systems: quantum entanglement enhances the "speed" of evolution of certain quantum states, as measured by the time required to reach an orthogonal state. The concept of "speed" of quantum evolution constitutes an important ingredient in any attempt to determine the fundamental limits that basic physical laws impose on how fast a physical system can process or transmit information. Here we explore the relationship between entanglement and the speed of quantum evolution in the context of the quantum brachistochrone problem. Given an initial and a final state of a composite system we consider the amount of entanglement associated with the brachistochrone evolution between those states, showing that entanglement is an essential resource to achieve the alluded time-optimal quantum evolution.

Abstract:
We show that there are shape-independent upper bounds to the extinction cross section per unit volume of randomly oriented nanoparticles, given only material permittivity. Underlying the limits are restrictive sum rules that constrain the distribution of quasistatic eigenvalues. Surprisingly, optimally-designed spheroids, with only a single quasistatic degree of freedom, reach the upper bounds for four permittivity values. Away from these permittivities, we demonstrate computationally-optimized structures that surpass spheroids and approach the fundamental limits.