Abstract:
We study the occurrence of ground-state factorization in dimerized $XY$ spin chains in a transverse field. Together with the usual ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic regimes, a third case emerges, with no analogous in translationally-invariant systems, consisting of an antiferromagnetic Ne\'{e}l-type ground state where pairs of spins represent the unitary cell. Then, we calculate the exact solution of the model and show that the factorizing field represent an accidental degeneracy point of the Hamiltonian. Finally, we extend the study of the existence of ground-state factorization to a more general class of models.

Abstract:
The occurrence of parity-time reversal ($\mathcal{PT}$) symmetry breaking is discussed in a non-Hermitian spin chain. The Hermiticity of the model is broken by the presence of an alternating, imaginary, transverse magnetic field. A full real spectrum, which occurs if and only if all the eigenvectors are $\mathcal{PT}$ symmetric, can appear only in presence of dimerization, i.e. only if the hopping amplitudes between nearest-neighbor spins assume alternate values along the chain. In order to make a connection between such system and the Hermitian world, we study the critical magnetic properties of the model and look for the conditions that would allow to observe the same phase diagram in the absence of the imaginary field. Such procedure amounts to renormalizing the spin-spin coupling amplitudes.

Abstract:
We present a scheme to realize a quantum key distribution using vacuum-one photon entangled states created both from Alice and Bob. The protocol consists in an exchange of spatial modes between Alice and Bob and in a recombination which allows one of them to reconstruct the bit encoded by the counterpart in the phase of the entangled state. The security of the scheme is analyzed against some simple kind of attack. The model is shown to reach higher efficiency with respect to prior schemes using phase encoding methods.

Abstract:
Genuine multipartite correlations in finite-size XY chains are studied as a function of the applied external magnetic field. We find that, for low temperatures, multipartite correlations are sensitive to the parity change in the Hamiltonian ground state, given that they exhibit a minimum every time that the ground state becomes degenerate. This implies that they can be used to detect the factorizing point, that is, the value of the external field such that, in the termodynamical limit, the ground state becomes the tensor product of single-spin states.

Abstract:
Reversible work extraction from identical quantum systems via collective operations was shown to be possible even without producing entanglement among the sub-parts. Here, we show that implementing such global operations necessarily imply the creation of quantum correlations, as measured by quantum discord. We also reanalyze the conditions under which global transformations outperform local gates as far as maximal work extraction is considered by deriving a necessary and sufficient condition that is based on classical correlations.

Abstract:
It is known that arrays of trapped ions can be used to efficiently simulate a variety of many-body quantum systems. Here, we show how it is possible to build a model representing a spin chain interacting with bosons which is exactly solvable. The exact spectrum of the model at zero temperature and the ground state properties are studied. We show that a quantum phase transition occurs when the coupling between spins and bosons reaches a critical value, which corresponds to a level crossing in the energy spectrum. Once the critical point is reached, the number of bosonic excitations in the ground state, which can be assumed as an order parameter, starts to be different from zero. The population of the bosonic mode is accompanied by a macroscopic magnetization of the spins. This double effect could represent an useful resource for the phase transition detection since a measure on the phonon can give information about the phase of the spin system. A finite temperature phase diagram is also given in the adiabatic regime.

Abstract:
We study the evolution of entanglement of a pair of coupled, non-resonant harmonic oscillators in contact with an environment. For both the cases of a common bath and of two separate baths for each of the oscillators, a full master equation is provided without rotating wave approximation. This allows us to characterize the entanglement dynamics as a function of the diversity between the oscillators frequencies and their mutual coupling. Also the correlation between the occupation numbers is considered to explore the degree of quantumness of the system. The singular effect of the resonance condition (identical oscillators) and its relationship with the possibility of preserving asymptotic entanglement are discussed. The importance of the bath's memory properties is investigated by comparing Markovian and non-Markovian evolutions.

Abstract:
A diffusion process is usually assumed for the phase of the order parameter of a Bose system of finite size. The theoretical basis is limited to the so called Bogoliubov approximation. We show that a suitable generalization of the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov approach recovers phase diffusion.

Abstract:
A system of two interacting photon modes, without constraints on the photon number, in the presence of a Kerr nonlinearity, exhibits BEC if the transfer amplitude is greater than the mode frequency. A symmetry-breaking field (SBF) can be introduced by taking into account a classical electron current. The ground state, in the limit of small nonlinearity, becomes a squeezed state, and thus the modes become entangled. The smaller is the SBF, the greater is entanglement. Superfluid-like behavior is observed in the study of entanglement growth from an initial coherent state, since in the short-time range the growth does not depend on the SBF amplitude, and on the initial state amplitude. On the other hand, the latter is the only parameter which determines entanglement in the absence of the SBF.

Abstract:
We present a model where two magnetic impurities in a discrete tight-binding ring become entangled because of scattering processes associated to the injection of a conduction electron. We introduce a weak coupling approximation that allows us to solve the problem in a analytical way and compare the theory with the exact numerical results. We obtain the generation of entanglement both in a deterministic way and in a probabilistic one. The first case is intrinsically related to the structure of the two-impurity reduced density matrix, while the second one occurs when a projection on the electron state is performed.