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Quantum photo-thermodynamics on a programmable photonic quantum processor

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Version 2 2023-06-08, 12:51
Version 1 2023-01-12, 14:48
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posted on 2023-06-08, 12:51 authored by Frank H. B. Somhorst, Reinier van der Meer, Malaquias Correa Anguita, Riko Schadow, Henk J. Snijders, Michiel de Goede, Ben Kassenberg, Pim Venderbosch, Caterina Taballione, Jörn. P. Epping, Hans. H. van den Vlekkert, Jacob F. F. Bulmer, Jasleen Lugani, Ian A. Walmsley, Pepijn W. H. Pinkse, Jens Eisert, Nathan Walk, Jelmer J. Renema
One of the core questions of quantum physics is how to reconcile the unitary evolution of quantum states, which is information-preserving and time-reversible, with the second law of thermodynamics, which is neither. The resolution to this paradox is to recognize that global unitary evolution of a multi-partite quantum state causes the state of local subsystems to evolve towards maximum-entropy states. In this work, we experimentally demonstrate this effect in linear quantum optics by simultaneously showing the convergence of local quantum states to a generalized Gibbs ensemble constituting a maximum-entropy state under precisely controlled conditions, while using a new, efficient certification method to demonstrate that the state retains global purity. Our quantum states are manipulated by a programmable integrated photonic quantum processor, which simulates arbitrary non-interacting Hamiltonians, demonstrating the universality of this phenomenon. Our results show the potential of photonic devices for quantum simulations involving non-Gaussian states.

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