Spatially correlated decoherence: understanding and exploiting spatial noise correlations in quantum systems

Jeske, J 2014, Spatially correlated decoherence: understanding and exploiting spatial noise correlations in quantum systems, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Spatially correlated decoherence: understanding and exploiting spatial noise correlations in quantum systems
Author(s) Jeske, J
Year 2014
Abstract The challenge of making nano-scale quantum systems experimentally accessible is being overcome for an increasing diversity of systems by improved fabrication techniques and experimental control. Despite rapid progress, one of the main hindrances in all experiments is the difficulty of isolating the quantum system from the surrounding environment and its fluctuations. This experimental “noise” perturbs the quantum system, a process that is generally referred to as decoherence: the system slowly loses its distinguishing quantum features. In this thesis the effects of spatial correlations in the noise environment with a finite correlation length are investigated. The consequences for the experimental design of controlled quantum systems as well as the dynamics of solid state systems are presented. We utilize the Bloch-Redfield formalism, a Markovian master equation approach, which gives a close connection to the underpinning system-environment model. We show how to use this formalism to model any spatial correlation function of the noise environment. Using microscopic environmental models, several correlation functions are derived and their properties connected to the environmental parameters. Several phenomenological correlation functions are also studied and a mapping to the Lindblad master equation is presented, which provides a test of positivity for phenomenological models. For quantum transport through spin chains and networks, noise is generally detrimental. Spatial correlations however reduce the effect of dephasing noise and can reinstate the transport dynamics. The critical correlation length proves to be closely connected to the maximal packet width of one excitation in the transfer process. For dissipation noise, relaxation-free states emerge with spatial correlations. The decay of an excitation is therefore fundamentally modified into a fast decay towards an intermediate relaxation-reduced state and a subsequent decay to the ground state on a much longer time scale. In quantum metrology noise correlations have been observed in experiments with trapped ions, in which they limit the use of such experiments for metrology. Quantum advantage, i.e. a better precision scaling than the standard quantum limit has been proven impossible in the presence of uncorrelated Markovian noise only. We show that for certain optimized states the best possible quantum advantage, Heisenberg scaling, can be achieved in the presence of noise with a finite spatial decay of correlations. We furthermore identify how dephasing effects change and a topology dependence arises in strength with increasing correlation length for entangled states in a general way. Biological photosynthetic complexes have recently been found to potentially include quantum coherent dynamics, particularly in the process of transmitting an exciton from the point of creation to the reaction centre. We show how the formalism of spatially correlated decoherence adapts to this significantly different energy regime. Typical effects of decoherence in this field are presented and we show how the light-harvesting efficiency is influenced by spatial correlations in the noise. This thesis highlights the fundamental relevance of noise correlations to several fields of quantum physics and the importance of the efficient and comprehensive modelling techniques presented.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) quantum systems
quantum noise
spatial correlations
noise correlations
Bloch-Redfield equations
master equations
Lindblad equations
Markovian dynamics
quantum metrology
spin chain
quantum transport
light-harvesting complexes
quantum ferromagnet
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Created: Fri, 10 Oct 2014, 09:08:40 EST by Maria Lombardo
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