Quantum Circuit Cosmology: The Expansion of the Universe Since the First Qubit [CL]


We consider cosmological evolution from the perspective of quantum information. We present a quantum circuit model for the expansion of a comoving region of space, in which initially-unentangled ancilla qubits become entangled as expansion proceeds. We apply this model to the comoving region that now coincides with our Hubble volume, taking the number of entangled degrees of freedom in this region to be proportional to the de Sitter entropy. The quantum circuit model is applicable for at most 140 $e$-folds of inflationary and post-inflationary expansion: we argue that no geometric description was possible before the time $t_1$ when our comoving region was one Planck length across, and contained one pair of entangled degrees of freedom. This approach could provide a framework for modeling the initial state of inflationary perturbations.

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N. Bao, C. Cao, S. Carroll, et. al.
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: 12 pages, 1 figure. Including appendix

Quantum correlation measurements in interferometric gravitational wave detectors [CL]


Quantum fluctuations in the phase and amplitude quadratures of light set limitations on the sensitivity of modern optical instruments. The sensitivity of the interferometric gravitational wave detectors, such as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO), is limited by quantum shot noise, quantum radiation pressure noise, and a set of classical noises. We show how the quantum properties of light can be used to distinguish these noises using correlation techniques. Particularly, in the first part of the paper we show estimations of the coating thermal noise and gas phase noise, hidden below the quantum shot noise in the Advanced LIGO sensitivity curve. We also make projections on the observatory sensitivity during the next science runs. In the second part of the paper we discuss the correlation technique that reveals the quantum radiation pressure noise from the background of classical noises and shot noise. We apply this technique to the Advanced LIGO data, collected during the first science run, and experimentally estimate the quantum correlations and quantum radiation pressure noise in the interferometer for the first time.

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D. Martynov, V. Frolov, S. Kandhasamy, et. al.
Tue, 14 Feb 17

Comments: N/A

Quantum principle of sensing gravitational waves: From the zero-point fluctuations to the cosmological stochastic background of spacetime [CL]


We carry out a theoretical investigation on the collective dynamics of an ensemble of correlated atoms, subject to both vacuum fluctuations of spacetime and stochastic gravitational waves. A general approach is taken with the derivation of a quantum master equation capable of describing arbitrary confined nonrelativistic matter systems in an open quantum gravitational environment. It enables us to relate the spectral function for gravitational waves and the distribution function for quantum gravitational fluctuations and to indeed introduce a new spectral function for the zero-point fluctuations of spacetime. The formulation is applied to two-level Rydberg-like identical bosonic atoms in a cavity, leading to a gravitational transition mechanism through certain quadrupole moment operators. For a large number $N$ of such atoms, we find their equilibrium state to satisfy the Boltzmann distribution. The overall relaxation rate before reaching equilibrium is found to scale collectively with $N$. However, we are able to identify certain states whose decay and excitation rates with stochastic gravitational waves and vacuum spacetime fluctuations amplify more significantly with a factor of $N^2$. Using such favourable states as a means of measuring both conventional stochastic gravitational waves and novel zero-point spacetime fluctuations, we determine the theoretical lower bounds for the respective spectral functions. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings on future observations of gravitational waves of a wider spectral window than currently accessible. Especially, the possible sensing of the zero-point fluctuations of spacetime could provide an opportunity to generate initial evidence and further guidance of quantum gravity.

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D. Quinones, T. Oniga, B. Varcoe, et. al.
Tue, 14 Feb 17

Comments: 13 pages; 4 figures

Mitigating radiation damage of single photon detectors for space applications [CL]


Single-photon detectors in space must retain useful performance characteristics despite being bombarded with sub-atomic particles. Mitigating the effects of this space radiation is vital to enabling new space applications which require high-fidelity single-photon detection. To this end, we conducted proton radiation tests of various models of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and one model of photomultiplier tube potentially suitable for satellite-based quantum communications. The samples were irradiated with 106 MeV protons at doses equivalent to lifetimes of 0.6 months, 6 months, 12 months and 24 months in a low-Earth polar orbit. Although most detection properties were preserved, including effciency, timing jitter and afterpulsing probability, all APD samples demonstrated significant increases in dark count rate (DCR) due to radiation-induced damage, many orders of magnitude higher than the 200 counts per second (cps) required for ground-tosatellite quantum communications. We then successfully demonstrated the mitigation of this DCR degradation through the use of deep cooling, to as low as -86 degrees C. This achieved DCR below the required 200 cps over the 24 months orbit duration. DCR was further reduced by thermal annealing at temperatures of +50 to +100 degrees C.

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E. Anisimova, B. Higgins, J. Bourgoin, et. al.
Tue, 7 Feb 17

Comments: N/A

The Anomalous Magnetic Moment of a photon propagating in a magnetic field [CL]


We analyze the spectrum of the Hamiltonian of a photon propagating in a strong magnetic field $B\sim B_{\rm{cr}}$, where $B_{\rm cr}= \frac{m^2}{e} \simeq 4.4 \times 10^{13}$ Gauss is the Schwinger critical field . We show that the expected value of the Hamiltonian of a quantized photon for a perpendicular mode is a concave function of the magnetic field $B$. We show by a partially analytic and numerical method that the anomalous magnetic moment of a photon in the one loop approximation is a non – decreasing function of the magnetic field $B$ in the range $0\leq B \leq 30 \, B_{\rm cr}$ We provide a numerical representation of the expression for the anomalous magnetic moment in terms of special functions. We find that the anomalous magnetic moment $\mu_\gamma$ of a photon for $B=30\, B_{\rm cr }$ is $8/3$ of the anomalous magnetic moment of a photon for $B = 1/2 ~ B_{\rm cr}$.

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J. Mielniczuk, D. Lamm, S. Auddy, et. al.
Fri, 3 Feb 17

Comments: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1503.00532 by other authors

Quantum Break-Time of de Sitter [CL]


The quantum break-time of a system is the time-scale after which its true quantum evolution departs from the classical mean field evolution. For capturing it, a quantum resolution of the classical background – e.g., in terms of a coherent state – is required. In this paper, we first consider a simple scalar model with anharmonic oscillations and derive its quantum break-time. Next, we apply these ideas to de Sitter space. We formulate a simple model of a spin-2 field, which for some time reproduces the de Sitter metric and simultaneously allows for its well-defined representation as quantum coherent state of gravitons. The mean occupation number $N$ of background gravitons turns out to be equal to the de Sitter horizon area in Planck units, while their frequency is given by the de Sitter Hubble parameter. In the semi-classical limit, we show that the model reproduces all the known properties of de Sitter, such as the redshift of probe particles and thermal Gibbons-Hawking radiation, all in the language of quantum $S$-matrix scatterings and decays of coherent state gravitons. Most importantly, this framework allows to capture the $1/N$-effects to which the usual semi-classical treatment is blind. They violate the de Sitter symmetry and lead to a finite quantum break-time of the de Sitter state equal to the de Sitter radius times $N$. We also point out that the quantum-break time is inversely proportional to the number of particle species in the theory. Thus, the quantum break-time imposes the following consistency condition: Older and species-richer universes must have smaller cosmological constants. For the maximal, phenomenologically acceptable number of species, the observed cosmological constant would saturate this bound if our Universe were $10^{100}$ years old in its entire classical history.

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G. Dvali, C. Gomez and S. Zell
Wed, 1 Feb 17

Comments: 52 pages, 5 figures

Quantum coherence, radiance, and resistance of gravitational systems [CL]


We develop a general framework for the open dynamics of an ensemble of quantum particles subject to spacetime fluctuations about the flat background. An arbitrary number of interacting bosonic and fermionic particles are considered. A systematic approach to the generation of gravitational waves in the quantum domain is presented that recovers known classical limits in terms of the quadrupole radiation formula and back-reaction dissipation. Classical gravitational emission and absorption relations are quantized into their quantum field theoretical counterparts in terms of the corresponding operators and quantum ensemble averages. Certain arising consistency issues related to factor ordering have been addressed and resolved. Using the theoretical formulation established here with numerical simulations in the quantum regime, we demonstrate new predictions including decoherence through the spontaneous emission of gravitons and collectively amplified “superradiance” of gravitational waves by a highly coherent state of identical particles.

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T. Oniga and C. Wang
Tue, 17 Jan 17

Comments: 10 pages, 3 figures