Quantum walkers caught in a loop

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Science  08 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6431, pp. 1053
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6431.1053-b

A quantum walk is the quantum mechanical analog of a classical random walk, describing the propagation of quantum walkers (photons) through an optical circuit. Because quantum walks generate large-scale quantum superposed states, they can be used for simulating many-body quantum systems and the development of algorithms for quantum computation. Nejadsattari et al. describe the photonic simulation with cyclic quantum systems. Using a multiple-site optical system, they explored the wave function dynamics and the probability distribution of quantum walkers as they loop through the system from site to site. With the ability to simulate a variety of different quantum operations and gates, they claim that the versatility of the approach should allow the study of more complex many-body systems.

Optica 6, 174 (2019).

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