Abstract:
Determining the quantum circuit complexity of a unitary operation is closely related to the problem of finding minimal length paths in a particular curved geometry [Nielsen et al, Science 311, 1133-1135 (2006)]. This paper investigates many of the basic geometric objects associated to this space, including the Levi-Civita connection, the geodesic equation, the curvature, and the Jacobi equation. We show that the optimal Hamiltonian evolution for synthesis of a desired unitary necessarily obeys a simple universal geodesic equation. As a consequence, once the initial value of the Hamiltonian is set, subsequent changes to the Hamiltonian are completely determined by the geodesic equation. We develop many analytic solutions to the geodesic equation, and a set of invariants that completely determine the geodesics. We investigate the problem of finding minimal geodesics through a desired unitary, U, and develop a procedure which allows us to deform the (known) geodesics of a simple and well understood metric to the geodesics of the metric of interest in quantum computation. This deformation procedure is illustrated using some three-qubit numerical examples. We study the computational complexity of evaluating distances on Riemmanian manifolds, and show that no efficient classical algorithm for this problem exists, subject to the assumption that good pseudorandom generators exist. Finally, we develop a canonical extension procedure for unitary operations which allows ancilla qubits to be incorporated into the geometric approach to quantum computing.

Abstract:
We have found that for a wide range of two-qubit Hamiltonians the canonical-ensemble thermal state is entangled in two distinct temperature regions. In most cases the ground state is entangled; however we have also found an example where the ground state is separable and there are still two regions. This demonstrates that the qualitative behavior of entanglement with temperature can be much more complicated than might otherwise have been expected; it is not simply determined by the entanglement of the ground state, even for the simple case of two qubits. Furthermore, we prove a finite bound on the number of possible entangled regions for two qubits, thus showing that arbitrarily many transitions from entanglement to separability are not possible. We also provide an elementary proof that the spectrum of the thermal state at a lower temperature majorizes that at a higher temperature, for any Hamiltonian, and use this result to show that only one entangled region is possible for the special case of Hamiltonians without magnetic fields.

Abstract:
The concept of entanglement in systems where the particles are indistinguishable has been the subject of much recent interest and controversy. In this paper we study the notion of entanglement of particles introduced by Wiseman and Vaccaro [Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 097902 (2003)] in several specific physical systems, including some that occur in condensed matter physics. The entanglement of particles is relevant when the identical particles are itinerant and so not distinguished by their position as in spin models. We show that entanglement of particles can behave differently to other approaches that have been used previously, such as entanglement of modes (occupation-number entanglement) and the entanglement in the two-spin reduced density matrix. We argue that the entanglement of particles is what could actually be measured in most experimental scenarios and thus its physical significance is clear. This suggests entanglement of particles may be useful in connecting theoretical and experimental studies of entanglement in condensed matter systems.

Abstract:
We investigate quantum many-body systems where all low-energy states are entangled. As a tool for quantifying such systems, we introduce the concept of the entanglement gap, which is the difference in energy between the ground-state energy and the minimum energy that a separable (unentangled) state may attain. If the energy of the system lies within the entanglement gap, the state of the system is guaranteed to be entangled. We find Hamiltonians that have the largest possible entanglement gap; for a system consisting of two interacting spin-1/2 subsystems, the Heisenberg antiferromagnet is one such example. We also introduce a related concept, the entanglement-gap temperature: the temperature below which the thermal state is certainly entangled, as witnessed by its energy. We give an example of a bipartite Hamiltonian with an arbitrarily high entanglement-gap temperature for fixed total energy range. For bipartite spin lattices we prove a theorem demonstrating that the entanglement gap necessarily decreases as the coordination number is increased. We investigate frustrated lattices and quantum phase transitions as physical phenomena that affect the entanglement gap.

Abstract:
The stochastic-gauge representation is a method of mapping the equation of motion for the quantum mechanical density operator onto a set of equivalent stochastic differential equations. One of the stochastic variables is termed the "weight", and its magnitude is related to the importance of the stochastic trajectory. We investigate the use of Monte Carlo algorithms to improve the sampling of the weighted trajectories and thus reduce sampling error in a simulation of quantum dynamics. The method can be applied to calculations in real time, as well as imaginary time for which Monte Carlo algorithms are more-commonly used. The method is applicable when the weight is guaranteed to be real, and we demonstrate how to ensure this is the case. Examples are given for the anharmonic oscillator, where large improvements over stochastic sampling are observed.

Abstract:
We demonstrate that it is possible, in principle, to perform a Ramsey-type interference experiment to exhibit a coherent superposition of a single atom and a diatomic molecule. This gedanken experiment, based on the techniques of Aharonov and Susskind [Phys. Rev. 155, 1428 (1967)], explicitly violates the commonly-accepted superselection rule that forbids coherent superpositions of eigenstates of differing atom number. This interference experiment makes use of a Bose-Einstein condensate as a reference frame with which to perform the coherent operations analogous to Ramsey pulses. We also investigate an analogous gedanken experiment to exhibit a coherent superposition of a single boson and a fermion, violating the commonly-accepted superselection rule forbidding coherent superpositions of states of differing particle statistics; in this case, the reference frame is realized by a multi-mode state of many fermions. This latter case reproduces all of the relevant features of Ramsey interferometry, including Ramsey fringes over many repetitions of the experiment. However, the apparent inability of this proposed experiment to produce well-defined relative phases between two distinct systems each described by a coherent superposition of a boson and a fermion demonstrates that there are additional, outstanding requirements to fully ``lift'' the univalence superselection rule.

Abstract:
The calculation of quantum dynamics is currently a central issue in theoretical physics, with diverse applications ranging from ultra-cold atomic Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) to condensed matter, biology, and even astrophysics. Here we demonstrate a conceptually simple method of determining the regime of validity of stochastic simulations of unitary quantum dynamics by employing a time-reversal test. We apply this test to a simulation of the evolution of a quantum anharmonic oscillator with up to $6.022\times10^{23}$ (Avogadro's number) of particles. This system is realisable as a Bose-Einstein condensate in an optical lattice, for which the time-reversal procedure could be implemented experimentally.

Abstract:
Quantum computers hold great promise, but it remains a challenge to find efficient quantum circuits that solve interesting computational problems. We show that finding optimal quantum circuits is essentially equivalent to finding the shortest path between two points in a certain curved geometry. By recasting the problem of finding quantum circuits as a geometric problem, we open up the possibility of using the mathematical techniques of Riemannian geometry to suggest new quantum algorithms, or to prove limitations on the power of quantum computers.

Abstract:
We prove upper and lower bounds relating the quantum gate complexity of a unitary operation, U, to the optimal control cost associated to the synthesis of U. These bounds apply for any optimal control problem, and can be used to show that the quantum gate complexity is essentially equivalent to the optimal control cost for a wide range of problems, including time-optimal control and finding minimal distances on certain Riemannian, subriemannian, and Finslerian manifolds. These results generalize the results of Nielsen, Dowling, Gu, and Doherty, Science 311, 1133-1135 (2006), which showed that the gate complexity can be related to distances on a Riemannian manifold

Abstract:
Interest in cell heterogeneity and differentiation has recently led to increased use of time-lapse microscopy. Previous studies have shown that cell fate may be determined well in advance of the event. We used a mixture of automation and manual review of time-lapse live cell imaging to track the positions, contours, divisions, deaths and lineage of 44 B-lymphocyte founders and their 631 progeny in vitro over a period of 108 hours. Using this data to train a Support Vector Machine classifier, we were retrospectively able to predict the fates of individual lymphocytes with more than 90% accuracy, using only time-lapse imaging captured prior to mitosis or death of 90% of all cells. The motivation for this paper is to explore the impact of labour-efficient assistive software tools that allow larger and more ambitious live-cell time-lapse microscopy studies. After training on this data, we show that machine learning methods can be used for realtime prediction of individual cell fates. These techniques could lead to realtime cell culture segregation for purposes such as phenotype screening. We were able to produce a large volume of data with less effort than previously reported, due to the image processing, computer vision, tracking and human-computer interaction tools used. We describe the workflow of the software-assisted experiments and the graphical interfaces that were needed. To validate our results we used our methods to reproduce a variety of published data about lymphocyte populations and behaviour. We also make all our data publicly available, including a large quantity of lymphocyte spatio-temporal dynamics and related lineage information.