Questions tagged [quantum-state]

Questions about or related to quantum states. Consider using the density-matrix tag when relevant.

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Quantum machine learning after Ewin Tang

Recently, a series of research papers have been released (this, this and this, also this) that provide classical algorithms with the same runtime as quantum machine learning algorithms for the same ...
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What is meant by the term "computational basis"?

What is meant by the term "computational basis" in the context of quantum computing and quantum algorithms?
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28 votes
4 answers
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What's the difference between a pure and mixed quantum state?

As per my limited understanding, a pure state is the quantum state where we have exact information about the quantum system. And the mixed state is the combination of probabilities of the information ...
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How does measurement of one qubit affect the others?

To represent a quantum computer's state, all the qubits contribute to one state vector (this is one of the major differences between quantum and classical computing as I understand it). My ...
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What is the difference between a relative phase and a global phase? In particular, what is a phase?

I know that $re^{i\theta} = x + iy$ for any complex number $x + iy$ by Euler's formula. How do you calculate relative and global phase?
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What is the difference between superpositions and mixed states?

My understanding so far is: a pure state is a basic state of a system, and a mixed state represents uncertainty about the system, i.e. the system is in one of a set of states with some (classical) ...
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What are magic states?

I wonder what are magic states, and a magic state gadget. While I'm reading a paper, these terms frequently appear.
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How can I build a circuit to generate an equal superposition of 3 outcomes for 2 qubits?

Given a $2$ qubit-system and thus $4$ possible measurements results in the basis $\{|00\rangle$, $|01\rangle$, $|10\rangle$, $|11\rangle\}$, how can I prepare the state, where: only $3$ of these $4$ ...
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How to calculate circuit depth properly?

Is the circuit depth the longest sequence of gates applied on one of the qubits? Or is it something more complicated?
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Why does the "Phase Kickback" mechanism work in the Quantum phase estimation algorithm?

I've probably read the chapter The quantum Fourier transform and its applications from Nielsen and Chuang (10 th anniversary edition) a couple of times before and this took this thing for granted, but ...
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Significance of The Church of the Higher Hilbert space

The term "Church of the Higher Hilbert Space" is used in quantum information frequently when analysing quantum channels and quantum states. What does this term mean (or, alternately, what does the ...
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Quantum states are unit vectors... with respect to which norm?

The most general definition of a quantum state I found is (rephrasing the definition from Wikipedia) Quantum states are represented by a ray in a finite- or infinite-dimensional Hilbert space over ...
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Density matrices for pure states and mixed states

What is the motivation behind density matrices? And, what is the difference between the density matrices of pure states and density matrices of mixed states? This is a self-answered sequel to What&#...
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Why are half angles used in the Bloch sphere representation of qubits?

Suppose we have a single qubit with state $| \psi \rangle = \alpha | 0 \rangle + \beta | 1 \rangle$. We know that $|\alpha|^2 + |\beta|^2 = 1$, so we can write $| \alpha | = \cos(\theta)$, $| \beta | ...
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What is a qubit?

What is a "qubit"? Google tells me that it's another term for a "quantum bit". What is a "quantum bit" physically? How is it "quantum"? What purpose does it serve in quantum computing? Note: I'd ...
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Alternative to Bloch sphere to represent a single qubit

In order to represent the single qubit $|\psi\rangle$ we use an unitary vector in a $\mathbb{C}^2$ Hilbert space whose (one of the) orthonormal base is $(|0\rangle, |1\rangle)$. We can draw $|\psi\...
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No-cloning theorem and distinguishing between two non-orthogonal quantum states

I'm currently reading Nielsen and Chuang's Quantum Computation and Quantum Information and I'm not sure if I correctly understand this exercise (on page 57) : Exercise 1.2: Explain how a device which,...
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How do the probabilities of each state change after a transformation of a quantum gate?

Quantum gates are represented by matrices, which represent the transformations applied to qubits (states). Suppose we have some quantum gate which operates on $2$ qubits. How does the quantum gate ...
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How can we keep Schrödinger's cat alive?

We know, Schrödinger's cat inside the box is in the equal superposition state of both alive and dead. We can express its state as $$|\text{cat}_\phi\rangle= \frac{|\text{alive}\rangle+e^{i\phi}|\text{...
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How to compactly represent multiple qubit states?

Since access to quantum devices capable of quantum computing is still extremely limited, it is of interest to simulate quantum computations on a classical computer. Representing the state of $n$ ...
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How to input 2 qubits in 2 Hadamard gates?

Let's say we have a circuit with $2$ Hadamard gates: Let's take the $|00\rangle$ state as input. The vector representation of $|00\rangle$ state is $[1 \ 0 \ 0 \ 0]$, but this is the representation ...
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Is it true to say that one qubit in an entangled state can instantaneously affect all others?

When a qubit is measured, there is a ‘collapse of the wave-function’ as a result is randomly chosen. If the qubit is entangled with others, this collapse will also effect them. And the way it affects ...
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What makes quantum computations different from randomized classical computations?

One of the many thing that confuse me in the field of QC is what makes the measurement of a qubit in a quantum computer any different than just choosing at random (in a classical computer) (that's not ...
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Representation of real numbers in quantum computers

In classical binary computers, real numbers are often represented using the IEEE 754 standard. With quantum computers you can of course do this as well - and for measurements this (or a similar ...
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General construction of $W_n$-state

Two of the most well known entangled states are the GHZ-state $|\psi\rangle = 1/\sqrt{2}\left( |0\rangle^{\otimes n} + |1\rangle^{\otimes n}\right)$ and the $W_n$-state, with $W_3 = 1/\sqrt{3}\left(|...
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Does quantum computing already possess the level of abstraction to be explicable even without knowledge of physics?

Currently, quantum computer science (in contrast to classical computer science) can mostly only be understood if one has a good inside knowledge of physics, or more precisely quantum physics. Only ...
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What is a stabilizer state?

I am reading through the paper "Direct Fidelity Estimation from Few Pauli Measurements" (arXiv:1104.4695) and it mentions 'stabilizer state'. "The number of repetitions depends on the ...
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What are min and max overlaps of a maximally entangled state with a separable state?

Let $A,B$ be Hilbert spaces of dimension $d$. Let $\rho$ be some separable quantum state of the composite system $AB$. Given a maximally entangled state: $$\vert\phi\rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt{d}}\sum_{i=...
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What are the possible ways to visualise large, entangled states?

What are the prominent visualizations used to depict large, entangled states and in what context are they most commonly applied? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
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How do you rotate a Fock state qubit?

I read that a qubit can be encoded in a Fock state, such as the presence or absence of a photon. How do you perform single qubit rotations on Fock states?
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Is acting with a positive map on a state not part of a larger system allowed?

In the comments to a question I asked recently, there is a discussion between user1271772 and myself on positive operators. I know that for a positive trace-preserving operator $\Lambda$ (e.g. the ...
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4 answers
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Advances on imperfect quantum copying

It is known by the no-cloning theorem that constructing a machine that is able to clone an arbitrary quantum state is impossible. However, if the copying is assumed not to be perfect, then universal ...
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How and why does swap test works?

I am having some trouble understanding why a SWAP test would work. I meant I read that and understood the concepts as follows: If the two input states are equal, the output register always results in ...
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Why does a Hamiltonian have to be Hermitian?

Starting from: $$ -i\hbar \frac{d|\psi⟩}{dt} = H|\psi⟩ $$ I was able to do some working to prove that $U$ in the corresponding discrete representation $$ U(t_1,t_2) = exp\frac{-iH(t_2-t_1)}{\hbar} $...
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Embedding classical information into norm of a quantum state

According to An introduction to quantum machine learning (Schuld, Sinayskiy & Petruccione, 2014), Seth Lloyd et al. say in their paper: Quantum algorithms for supervised and unsupervised machine ...
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What do the off-diagonal elements of a density matrix physically represent?

For simplicity, let's take a density matrix for a single qubit, written in the $\{|0\rangle,|1\rangle\}$ basis: $$ \rho = \begin{pmatrix} \rho_{00} & \rho_{01} \\ \rho_{10}^* & 1-\rho_{00} \...
11 votes
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State produced by spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC)

I'm researching SPDC's efficacy for use in an optical quantum computing model and I've been trying to figure out exactly what state the photons are in when they come out (as represented by a vector, ...
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11 votes
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Prove that the trace distance is upper-bounded by the Hilbert-Schmidt distance

In (Haah et al. 2015), in the third page, second column, the authors use the following result: given a pair of states $\rho,\sigma$, we have $$ \|\rho-\sigma\|_1 \le 2\sqrt{\min(\operatorname{rank}(\...
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Does the trace distance have a geometric interpretation?

Consider the trace distance between two quantum states $\rho,\sigma$, defined via $$D(\rho,\sigma)=\frac12\operatorname{Tr}|\rho-\sigma|,$$ where $|A|\equiv\sqrt{A^\dagger A}$. When $\rho$ and $\sigma$...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Sampling random circuits vs Solovay-Kitaev compiler

Suppose I want to obtain a gate sequence representing a particular 1 qubit unitary matrix. The gate set is represented by a discrete universal set, e.g. Clifford+T gates or $\{T,H\}$ gates. A well ...
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How to check if a matrix is a valid density matrix?

What conditions must a matrix hold to be considered a valid density matrix?
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Why do we have to uncompute rather than simply set registers to zero?

In implementing a quantum subroutine it is important to uncompute temporary registers after use, to ensure the output state of the subroutine is not entangled with them (which would affect its ...
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How can I calculate the inner product of two quantum registers of different sizes?

I found an algorithm that can compute the distance of two quantum states. It is based on a subroutine known as swap test (a fidelity estimator or inner product of two state, btw I don't understand ...
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What is the difference between a qubit and a quantum state?

In general, a qubit is mathematically represented as a quantum state of the form $\lvert \psi\rangle = \alpha \lvert 0\rangle + \beta \lvert 1\rangle$, using the basis $\{ \lvert 0\rangle, \lvert 1\...
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10 votes
2 answers
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CNOT Gate on Entangled Qubits

I was trying to generate Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state for $N$ states using quantum computing, starting with $|000...000\rangle$ (N times) The proposed solution is to first apply Hadamard ...
10 votes
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On the distribution of the fidelity of a random product state with an arbitrary many-qubit state

Consider an arbitrary $n$-qubit state $\lvert \psi \rangle$. How much do we understand about the probability distribution of the fidelity of $\lvert \psi \rangle$ with a tensor product $\lvert \alpha \...
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Is there an efficient circuit implementing the unitary $U|x\rangle|0\rangle=|x\rangle\Big(\sqrt{1 - x/2^n}\,|0\rangle+\sqrt{x/2^n}|1\rangle\Big)?$

Given an $n$-qubit register $|x\rangle$, does there exist an efficient circuit implementing unitary operation $U$ such that $$U |x\rangle|0\rangle = |x\rangle\Big(\sqrt{1 - x/2^n}\, |0\rangle + \sqrt{...
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How does evolving a two-qubit state through a CNOT gate entangle them?

Reading into CNOT gate I understand that, mathematically, such a gate entangles the control qubit and the target. (the resulting state is $\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}(|00\rangle+|11\rangle)$) However, looking ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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How to show that an n-level system is entangled?

"How do I show that a two-qubit state is an entangled state?" includes an answer which references the Peres–Horodecki criterion. This works for $2\times 2$ and $2\times3$ dimensional cases; however, ...
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What does it mean for a density matrix to "act on a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}"$?

For a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}_A$, I have seen the phrase density matrices acting on $\mathcal{H}_A$ multiple times, e.g. here. It is clear to me that if $\mathcal{H}_A$ has finite Hilbert ...
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