Quantum communication with photons

Mario Krenn, Mehul Malik, Thomas Scheidl, Rupert Ursin, Anton Zeilinger
The secure communication of information plays an ever increasing role in our society today. Classical methods of encryption inherently rely on the difficulty of solving a problem such as finding prime factors of large numbers and can, in principle, be cracked by a fast enough machine. The burgeoning field of quantum communication relies on the fundamental laws of physics to offer unconditional information security. Here we introduce the key concepts of quantum superposition and entanglement as well as the no-cloning theorem that form the basis of this field. Then, we review basic quantum communication schemes with single and entangled photons and discuss recent experimental progress in ground and space-based quantum communication. Finally, we discuss the emerging field of high-dimensional quantum communication, which promises increased data rates and higher levels of security than ever before. We discuss recent experiments that use the orbital angular momentum of photons for sharing large amounts of information in a secure fashion.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1701.00989v1.pdf

Maxwell’s Demon Meets Nonequilibrium Quantum Thermodynamics

 Following measurements of a spin system driven out of thermal equilibrium (red), Serra and colleagues’ Maxwell's demon (blue) implements feedback control on the system’s dynamical state [2]. The control is similar to that of a parachute, smoothening the transition of the system from one state to another and rectifying the associated entropy production.
Experimental rectification of entropy production by a Maxwell’s Demon in a quantum system
P. A. Camati, J. P. S. Peterson, T. B. Batalhão, K. Micadei, A. M. Souza, R. S. Sarthour, I. S. Oliveira, R. M. Serra

Maxwell’s demon explores the role of information in physical processes. Employing information about microscopic degrees of freedom, this “intelligent observer” is capable of compensating entropy production (or extracting work), apparently challenging the second law of thermodynamics. In a modern standpoint, it is regarded as a feedback control mechanism and the limits of thermodynamics are recast incorporating information-to-energy conversion. We derive a trade-off relation between information-theoretic quantities empowering the design of an efficient Maxwell’s demon in a quantum system. The demon is experimentally implemented as a spin-1/2 quantum memory that acquires information, and employs it to control the dynamics of another spin-1/2 system, through a natural interaction. Noise and imperfections in this protocol are investigated by the assessment of its effectiveness. This realization provides experimental evidence that the irreversibility on a non-equilibrium dynamics can be mitigated by assessing microscopic information and applying a feed-forward strategy at the quantum scale.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1605.08821v1.pdf

Read also http://physics.aps.org/articles/v9/136


Bringing quantum mechanics to life: from Schrödinger’s cat to Schrödinger’s microbe

Zhang-qi Yin, Tongcang Li
The question whether quantum mechanics is complete and the nature of the transition between quantum mechanics and classical mechanics have intrigued physicists for decades. There have been many experimental breakthroughs in creating larger and larger quantum superposition and entangled states since Erwin Schr\”{o}dinger proposed his famous thought experiment of putting a cat in a superposition of both alive and dead states in 1935. Remarkably, recent developments in quantum optomechanics and electromechanics may lead to the realization of quantum superposition of living microbes soon. Recent evidences also suggest that quantum coherence may play an important role in several biological processes. In this review, we first give a brief introduction to basic concepts in quantum mechanics and the Schr\”{o}dinger’s cat thought experiment. We then review developments in creating quantum superposition and entangled states and the realization of quantum teleportation. Non-trivial quantum effects in photosynthetic light harvesting and avian magnetoreception are also discussed. At last, we review recent proposals to realize quantum superposition, entanglement and state teleportation of microorganisms, such as viruses and bacteria.
Read more at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1608.05322v1.pdf