Hoisted From the Comments: Quantum Marriage

Charlie Bennett comments about an novel use of quantum entanglement:

Tracy Staedter describes a quantum wedding apparatus built by conceptual artist Jonathon Keats, which briefly entangles two people by illuminating them with entangled photons. Staedter quotes Keats as saying the resulting quantum marriage would literally be broken up by skepticism about it.

Speaking of which, who was it who introduced the idea of monogamy of entanglement?
(Anyone want to go into business selling a device which shoots entangled photons at you and a nearby person? “The Quantum Entangler” could be used to entangle you with that nearby hottie who you really want to get to know 🙂 )

March Meeting Madness

The 2011 APS March meeting deadline for submission of abstracts is today.  Chris Fuchs writes with some stats about current submissions from the topical group on quantum information and in particular the number of quantum foundations talks (a list of foundation-ish talks is listed in the email):

As I write to you, 3200 abstracts have already been submitted for the APS March Meeting, with 140 of those earmarked for the Topical Group on Quantum Information.  Very importantly for quantum foundations, however, 34 of those abstracts (culled from all sessions) can be considered with good justification quantum foundations submissions!!  In other words, at the moment, we’ve got 1% of the whole meeting thinking about the foundations of physics!-

Have a look at some of the titles and speakers below; there are going to be some very good talks at this meeting.  It will be a grand opportunity for everyone in our community to mix and mingle and learn from each other.

Please don’t forget that the abstract submission deadline is tomorrow, November 19, at 5:00 PM EST.

I really encourage everyone who wants to see quantum foundations thrive and be memorable to please submit a talk to this meeting.  Encourage your colleagues and students too.  Let’s build a critical mass.  Your voice will count.

The place to go is:


You must have an APS membership before submitting ($128 regular, $64 for recently completed PhDs, and $0 for students first joining), but you can still submit an abstract even if you don’t have your membership number yet–the instructions at the link explain how to do it.  (It is not necessary, but please do spend the extra $8 to join the Topical Group on Quantum Information, the official home within the APS for quantum foundations research.)


Chris Fuchs

Long Talks:

A Brief Prehistory of Qubits

Benjamin Schumacher

Quantum Information and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: A Story of Mutual Benefit

Anton Zeilinger

Toward a Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Information Processing

Giulio Chribella

On Mutually Unbiased Bases

Berthold-Georg Englert

Quantum States as Probabilities from Symmetric Informationally Complete

Measurements (SICs)

Åsa Ericsson

The Lie Algebraic Significance of Symmetric Informationally Complete Measurements

Steven T. Flammia

Report on the Zeilinger Group SIC and MUB Experiments

Christophe Schaef

States with the Same Probability Distribution for Each Basis in a Complete Set of MUBs

William K. Wootters

Short Talks:

Physics as Information
Giacomo Mauro D’Ariano

Quantum theory cannot be extended
Roger Colbeck, Renato Renner

The quantal algebra and abstract equations of motion
Samir Lipovaca

Scaling of quantum Zeno dynamics in thermodynamic systems
Wing Chi Yu, Li-Gang Wang, Shi-Jian Gu

Mathematical Constraint on Realistic Theories
James Franson

Uncertainty Relation for Smooth Entropies
Marco Tomamichel, Renato Renner

Quaternions and the Quantum
Matthew Graydon

A Linear Dependency Structure Arising from Weyl-Heisenberg Symmetry
Hoan Bui Dang, Marcus Appleby, Ingemar Bengtsson, Kate Blanchfield, Asa Ericsson, Christopher Fuchs, Matthew Graydon, Gelo Tabia

Proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem based on the 600-cell
P.K. Aravind, Mordecai Waegell, Norman Megill, Mladen Pavicic

Proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem based on two qubits
Mordecai Waegell, P.K. Aravind

Quantum Theory for a Total System with One Internal Measuring Apparatus
Wen-ge Wang

The thermodynamic meaning of negative entropy
Lidia del Rio, Renato Renner, Johan Aaberg, Oscar Dahlsten, Vlatko Vedral

Pseudo-unitary freedom in the operator-sum representation
Yong Cheng Ou, Mark S. Byrd

Quantum Computational Geodesic Derivative
Howard Brandt

Hardy’s paradox and a violation of a state-independent Bell inequality in time
Alessandro Fedrizzi, Marcelo P. Almeida, Matthew A. Broome, Andrew G. White, Marco Barbieri

Topos formulation of History Quantum Theory
Cecilia Flori

Quantum Darwinism in an Everyday Environment: Huge Redundancy in Scattered Photons
Charles Riedel, Wojciech Zurek

Redundant imprinting of information in non-ideal environments: Quantum Darwinism via a noisy channel
Michael Zwolak, Haitao Quan, Wojciech Zurek

Foundational aspects of energy-time entanglement
Jan-Åke Larsson

A Bigger Quantum Region in Multi-Party Bell Experiments
Matty Hoban, Dan Browne

Qutrits under a microscope
Gelo Noel Tabia

Quantum systems as embarrassed colleagues: what do tax evasion and state tomography have in common?
Chris Ferrie, Robin Blume-Kohout

Modal Quantum Theory
Michael Westmoreland, Benjamin Schumacher

On the Experimental Violation of Mermin’s High-Spin Bell Inequalities in the Schwinger Representation
Ruffin Evans, Olivier Pfister

Measurement backaction and the quantum Zeno effect in a superconducting qubit
Daniel H. Slichter, R. Vijay, Irfan Siddiqi

A derivation of quantum theory from physical requirements
Markus Mueller, Lluis Masanes

And that’s just the “foundation”-ish talks.

More APS March Meeting GQI Goodness

As a follow up to my last post, I’d also note that Chris Fuchs has set up what looks likes a great lineup for the March meeting.  Because not all of you are GQI members (join!) here is the email Chris sent out that describes the lineup:

Dear GQI Membership,

I write to you as the chair-elect of the GQI executive committee and the program chair of our portion of the 2011 APS March Meeting.  This coming year the meeting will be in Dallas, Texas, 21-25 March 2011.

We believe we have put together an exciting venue of invited talks and focus sessions.  Please have a look at the attachment (see below) and you will see.  There will be some astounding experiments reported, and you will also have a chance to meet several of the founders of our field.  2011 is a hallmark year for quantum information as a field within physics  Also we are pleased to announce that one of our talks will be given by one of the two LeRoy Apker Award winners for “outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students.”

I should further mention that the meeting will host a talk from one of this year’s Nobel-Prize winners for the discovery of graphene, Konstantin Novoselov.  (Andre Geim may also speak, but has not yet confirmed.)  Moreover, there will be a recognition of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity with a session of historical talks devoted to the subject, as well as a  Nobel-laureate session on it.  Speakers will include Ivar Giaever, Wolfgang Ketterle, Sir Anthony Leggett, K. Alexander Mueller, and Frank Wilczek, and there is word that there may be more.

In all, it should be a more-than-usual memorable meeting, with some quite wonderful GQI invited and focus sessions.  The executive committee and I hope the venue will be exciting enough to tip the scales for you if you have been indecisive about attending.

Particularly, we encourage you to submit a talk or poster on your latest  research.  The better showing GQI makes at this meeting, the greater the chance we have of increasing general APS awareness of our field, the better the chance the topical group may recruit enough members to attain APS Division status, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the better the chance we have of convincing American physics departments that it is worthwhile to create faculty and research positions for all of us.  Your participation is really, truly vital.  Quantum information needs you!

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is NOVEMBER 19 (less than 11 days away!).  Please submit an abstract yourself; please get your students to submit an abstract too!  Please get your associates to submit an abstract as well!! The place to go to submit and register for the meeting is here:


The GQI executive committee and I hope to see you in Dallas.  It’ll be a whoppin’ good time!

Chris Fuchs

Chair-elect of APS Topical Group on Quantum Information

GQI Program Chair for 2011 APS March Meeting

The attachment reads:

Sunday, March 20, tutorial
Ivan Deutsch (University of New Mexico)
Quantum Simulation and Computing with Atoms

Tuesday, March 22, invited session, “Quantum Information: Featured Experi-

H. Jeff Kimble (California Institute of Technology)
Entanglement of Spin Waves among Multiple Quantum Memories

Christopher Monroe (Joint Quantum Institute and University of Maryland)
Quantum Networks with Atoms and Photons

Till Rosenband (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Quantum-Logic Clocks for Metrology and Geophysics

Robert J. Schoelkopf (Yale University)
Towards Quantum Information Processing with Superconducting Circuits

Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna)
Quantum Information and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: A Story of Mutual Benefit

Wednesday, March 23, invited session, “20 Years of Quantum Information in Physical Review Letters”

Charles H. Bennett (IBM Research)
The Theory of Entanglement and Entanglement-Assisted Communication

David P. DiVincenzo (Aachen University)
Twenty Years of Quantum Error Correction

Artur Ekert (University of Oxford and National University of Singapore)
Less Reality, More Security

Peter W. Shor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
The Early Days of Quantum Algorithms

Benjamin Schumacher (Kenyon College)
A Brief Prehistory of Qubits

Thursday, March 24, invited session, “Symmetric Discrete Structures for Finite Dimensional Quantum Systems”

Berthold-Georg Englert (National University of Singapore)
On Mutually Unbiased Bases (MUBs)

Asa Ericsson (Institut Mittag-Leffler)
Quantum States as Probabilities from Symmetric Informationally Complete Measurements (SICs)

Steven T. Flammia (California Institute of Technology)
The Lie Algebraic Significance of Symmetric Informationally Complete Measurements

Christophe Schaef (University of Vienna)
Report on the Zeilinger Group SIC and MUB Experiments

William K. Wootters (Williams College)
States with the Same Probability Distribution for Each Basis in a Complete Set of MUBs

Focus Session: Superconducting Qubits

Chair: Robert McDermott (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

John Martinis (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Scaling Superconducting Qubits with the ResQu Architecture

Christopher Chudzicki (Williams College)
Parallel Entanglement Distribution on Hypercube Networks (Apker Award talk)

Focus Session: Quantum Optics with Superconducting Circuits

Chair: David Schuster (Yale University)

Andreas Wallraff (ETH, Zurich)
Tomography and Correlation Function Measurements of Itinerant Microwave Photons

Focus Session: Semiconducting Qubits
Chair: Jason Petta (Princeton University)

Amir Yacoby (Harvard University)
Control and Manipulation of Two-Electron Spin Qubits in GaAs Quantum Dots

Focus Session: Quantum Information for Quantum Foundations

Chair: Christopher Fuchs (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Giulio Chiribella (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)
Toward a Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Information Processing

Focus Session: Advances in Ion Trap Quantum Computation

Chair: Jungsang Kim (Duke University)

Richart E. Slusher (Georgia Tech Quantum Institute)
Trapped Ion Arrays for Quantum Simulation

Focus Session: 20 Years of APS Quantum Cryptography: Where Do We Stand?

Chair: Norbert Lutkenhaus (University of Waterloo)

Richard J. Hughes (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Twenty-Seven Years of Quantum Cryptography!

Like I said, looks like a wonderful lineup.  So you should go (I mean I think it’s even strong enough to persuade a native Californian like me to go to Texas for a meet
  And that’s saying a lot.  Though it is easier considering the results of the World Series 🙂 )

Quantum Foundations at the APS March Meeting

If you’re a member of the APS topical group on Quantum Information (GQI) you recently received an email from Chris Fuchs about the upcoming APS March meeting (to be held in Dallas, Texas this year.)  If you’re not a member, shame on you, you should become a member!  But more importantly Chris has made a very good effort this year to have a good showing of talks from the quantum foundations community.  There is a focus session this year, “Quantum Information for Quantum Foundations” with Giulio Chiribella (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics) as the invited speaker.  Giulio will give a talk titled “Toward a Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Information Processing.”  Further Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna) will be giving a symposium talk, “Quantum Information and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: A Story of Mutual Benefit.”

One of the explicit reasons for forming GQI, in addition to the explosive growth of quantum information science, was a place for all who are tightly tied to quantum theory and in particular for quantum foundations folks.  The mission statement of GQI makes this explicit:

The Group is committed to serving as the home within the American Physical Society for researchers in the foundations of quantum mechanics. The Topical Group will promote a continuation of the active and beneficial exchange of ideas between quantum foundations and quantum information science.

Over the years this has resulted in varying degrees of success.  I can remember a few foundations sessions at the March meeting that were top notch and very interesting, but increasingly there has not been a strong foundations showing.

I would, of course, encourage all quantum information related people to attend (submit a talk or a poster) to the March meeting (at worst you’re going to learn about the very exciting superconducting qubit experiments occurring at places like UCSB, Yale, and IBM) but I would particularly encourage you to submit a talk or a post if you are from the quantum foundations community.

My personal view is that foundations work lies very deep in the heart of quantum information science.  Not necessarily for the grand old debate about the interpretation of quantum theory, but because foundations seeks to bring conceptual clarity to a subject whose mystery is what we are trying to exploit.  So foundations people come out of yer closet and help shed some crazy light on quantum information science!


John Stewart Bell Prize 2011 Nominations

John Bell Prize nominations:
Dear friends and colleagues:
We are pleased to announce John Stewart Bell Prize 2011, and ask for your assistance in identifying candidates for the award.
The John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum Mechanics and their Applications (short form: “Bell Prize”) will be awarded every other year, in particular again in 2011, for significant contributions first published in the 6 years preceding January 1st of the award year.  The award is meant to recognize major advances relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics and to the applications of these principles – this covers, but is not limited to, quantum information theory, quantum computation, quantum foundations, quantum cryptography, and quantum control.  The award is not intended as a “lifetime achievement” award, but rather to highlight the continuing rapid pace of research in these areas.  It is intended to cover even-handedly theoretical and experimental research, both fundamental and applied.
The award is funded and managed by the University of Toronto, Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control (CQIQC), but the award selection will be handled by an arms-length selection committee.  The membership of the 2011 committee is
Alain Aspect
Nicolas Gisin (winner of the inaugural Bell Prize 2009)
Aephraim Steinberg, ex officio vice-chair
John Preskill
Peter Zoller chair
The award will be presented as part of the biennial CQIQC conference, during which the awardee will be invited to deliver a prize lecture.
To nominate a candidate for this award, please email your nomination to Anna Ho, CQIQC administrative assistant, at aho [atatat] chem.utoronto.ca.  The nomination should include the name and affiliation of the nominee, a 1-2 paragraph statement of the importance of the contribution on the basis of which you are making the nomination and the principal literature citations to this work (which must have been published between January 2005 and December 2010). Self-nomination is prohibited.
All nominations received prior to December 25, 2010 will be considered (although the committee will not be bound to restrict itself to these nominations).
Thank you in advance for your assistance,
Peter Zoller
on behalf of the Bell Prize selection committee

More Quantum Postdocapalooza – Um, Due Today

Two more postdocs that are due…today and tomorrow.  Better late than never?  First Mic pointed out postdocs at Cambridge:

Post-doctoral Research Associates in Quantum Computing, Quantum Information Theory & Foundations
Salary: £27,319-£35,646
Limit of tenure: 2 years
Closing date: 31 August 2010
The Department invites applications for two post-doctoral research positions to commence on 1st October 2010 or later by agreement. The successful candidates will be associated with the Centre for Quantum Information and Foundations (formerly Centre for Quantum Computation) of the University of Cambridge.

And Debbie points me to the CIFAR postdocs:

The Junior Fellow Academy of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research is an elite fellowship program designed to build research and leadership capacity in gifted young scholars at a critical early stage of career development.  The Academy provides unique opportunities for personal and professional growth through close collaboration with and mentorship from some of the best researchers in Canada and around the world.
By participating both in an innovative CIFAR research program and the leadership-building Junior Fellow Academy, Junior Fellows learn to embrace CIFAR’s core values:  to think broadly and imaginatively across disciplines and to collaborate on a deep level with colleagues.  These valuable experiences are intended to profoundly impact a Junior Fellow’s future career path.
CIFAR Junior Fellowships are held in conjunction with a university appointment.  Most typically, Junior Fellows work as postdoctoral fellows under the direct supervision of one or more CIFAR program members.
Eligibility: The program is targeted to individuals who have completed their PhD within the past three years and have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and research potential.  Individuals currently completing their doctorates are also eligible to apply.
Duration: Two years.
Value:  For postdoctoral fellows (per year): $65,000 CDN for salary, plus benefit support, if needed, and $5,000 CDN for research support.
How to Apply: Available Junior Fellowships in Cosmology & Gravity, Nanoelectronics, Quantum Information Processing, and Quantum Materials are now posted, along with application instructions, at www.cifar.ca/JFA, with an application deadline of September 1, 2010.  Visit today for more information about CIFAR and its Junior Fellow Academy.

Interested parties can contact Debbie for more info: wcleung [at sign goes here here] uwaterloo.ca

Quantum Postdocapalooza

Quantum postdocs aplenty.
First up, David Poulin sends a letter about multiple postdocs at the Université de Sherbrooke:

I would like to bring to your attention several open postdoctoral positions in Sherbrooke on various aspects of theoretical and experimental quantum information processing, including:

  • Experimental realization of spin qubits in various materials (GaAs, SiGe, InAs, NV centers,…)
  • Experimental investigation of quantum and non-gaussian noise in various mesoscopic devices
  • Theoretical aspects of superconducting qubits, circuit quantum electrodynamics, quantum limited amplification,…
  • Quantum information theory including quantum error correction, quantum algorithms design, and numerical methods for many-body problems (PEPS, MPS, DMRG).

The positions are available immediately and candidatures will be accepted until all positions are filled. See the attached file for more details.

Second, Jonathan Dowling at LSU sends me a note that he is looking for quantum error correcting postdocs:

I have recently gotten word of some impending funding to support a postdoc in theoretical-mathematical-computational quantum error correction, decoherence free subspaces, dynamical decoupling, and related things.
I would need the person to start likely in January 2011.
If you have any likely candidates please forward this email to them and have them contact me.
A more senior person, perhaps looking toward their second postdoc would be preferred.
We would pay up to $40K/Y for up to a maximum of three years.
(As a reference, the cost of living here is about 1/2 that of Los Angeles.)
Please forward this to any interested parties.
Jonathan’s email is jdowling[change this bracket to “at”]lsu.edu

Another person looking for postdocs is Christoph Simon at the University of Calgary:

I am looking for postdoc candidates who are interested in joining my theoretical quantum optics group at the University of Calgary, ideally starting January 2011 or soon thereafter. Our current research interests are briefly described below. My group is part of the Institute of Quantum Information Science at the University of Calgary, which encompasses several excellent experimental and theoretical groups (see http://www.iqis.org/), guaranteeing a rich and stimulating research environment.
Candidates should send an email with a CV and publication list to christoph.simon [hereiswhere the at goes] gmail.com. Recommendation letters (by email) are also greatly appreciated.
Research Interests:
The interaction of light and matter at the quantum level has played a major role in the development of quantum physics. Its detailed study in the field of quantum optics has led to the development of important applications such as the laser, and to the first experimental demonstrations of the most striking features of quantum physics, such as entanglement and quantum non-locality. But quantum optics is not ready to rest on its laurels. There are two key future challenges. On the one hand, we strive to develop genuine applications of these fundamental quantum features. Our group is particularly interested in
the development of quantum repeaters, which will be essential for future long-distance quantum communication. This motivates us to study potential implementations of quantum memories and of quantum gates between individual photons in various systems. On the other hand, quantum optical systems are ideally positioned to explore the quantum-classical transition, allowing us to deepen our understanding of how the classical macroscopic world arises out of microscopic quantum behavior. This motivates us to study the quantum amplification of photons to macroscopic levels, as well as quantum opto-mechanical systems. All these directions are pursued in close contact with
leading experimental groups.

Then there is the Perimeter Institute:

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is inviting applications for Postdoctoral Research positions.  For more information please visit http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Scientific/Applications/Postdoctoral _Researcher/
We hope you will share the news by:
1.  Forwarding this information directly to prospective candidates who may be interested in this opportunity.
2.  Printing and hanging the poster located here.
Perimeter Institute offers a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment with maximum research freedom and opportunity to collaborate.  We welcome all candidates to apply by November 15th, 2010, but applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

Double A-G in TR35

Congrats to Alán Aspuru-Guzik for landing a spot on MIT Tech review’s 2010 Young Innovators under 35:

In theory, quantum mechanics should offer perfect understanding of some of the most interesting events in chemistry–for example, the behavior of excited electrons, which controls such things as photosynthesis in plants. In practice, however, the necessary calculations are far too difficult for even the most powerful computers. So approximations must be made, especially when larger molecules such as proteins are involved.
Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a theoretical chemist at Harvard, is developing methods that could one day do away with the need for approximations altogether–and lead to better drugs or solar cells.

Hey I didn’t know Alán could supply me with better drugs 😉

Academia and Generalists – My Quantum Escape?

Some human resources departments have a title called “Generalist” who is someone that can basically handle a wide variety of issues. Academia, on the other hand, has a title called “Professor” who more often than not is an expert in one particular narrow area of their already fairly narrow profession. There are very few professors who are generalists, though I don’t think this is of their own choosing, but is the product of a lot of culture and practicality (expertise is necessary for advancement of the academic’s field.)
I was thinking about this the other day, and mulling over how I think I’m might be more of a generalist than a specialist (or at least I’m a lousy dilettante), when it occurred to me that perhaps this is the reason why I ended up in quantum computing. To the outside world quantum computing people are often characterized by “Oh they’re a quantum person.” I’ve heard exactly that phrase (especially when it comes to hiring decisions 🙁 )
But let’s think a bit about what that means. Quantum theory is an uber-theory of physics, sitting squarely at the base of theoretical physics. Computing is…well….gigantic. It is a joke that to form a research area in quantum computing you simply go to the dictionary of fields in computing and affix a big fat “quantum” in front of it. It may be a joke, but it’s very much true.
For example, I have worked in quantum error correction, quantum algorithms, universal quantum computing, simulation of quantum correlations, quantum foundations (Bell inequalities with communication), quantum computing in bizarre models of physics, adiabatic quantum protocols, and matrix product states algorithms for simulating quantum physics. And I’m a lazy bastard with a short publication list. A further example of this is the last paper I put up on the arxiv, arXiv:1006.4388 with co-authors Isaac Crosson and Ken Brown. In that paper we discuss essentially a statistical physics result and, along with connecting it to a model of computing, we also tie our work to a fundamental complexity class. Fun stuff! (Though hard to find an appropriate journal.)
I’ve often said that one of the great things about working in quantum computing is that I get to see all sorts of talks, from hard-core experimental physics to pie in the sky theoretical computer science. It only recently occurred to me that this is, apparently, is my own private way of getting to pretend to be a generalist. Which is to say, it used to bug me when people said “oh that Quantum Pontiff he’s just a quantum dude” (quantizing Bishops left and right, well mostly right!) But now I take it as a great protective shield, keeping me from bolting a system that favors single minded expertise over any broader approach.