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Law without law: from observer states to physics via algorithmic information theory

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Markus P. Müller

Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Boltzmanngasse 3, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5, Canada

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Abstract

According to our current conception of physics, any valid physical theory is supposed to describe the objective evolution of a unique external world. However, this condition is challenged by quantum theory, which suggests that physical systems should not always be understood as having objective properties which are simply revealed by measurement. Furthermore, as argued below, several other conceptual puzzles in the foundations of physics and related fields point to limitations of our current perspective and motivate the exploration of an alternative: to start with the first-person (the observer) rather than the third-person perspective (the world).
In this work, I propose a rigorous approach of this kind on the basis of algorithmic information theory. It is based on a single postulate: that $textit{universal induction}$ determines the chances of what any observer sees next. That is, instead of a world or physical laws, it is the local state of the observer alone that determines those probabilities. Surprisingly, despite its solipsistic foundation, I show that the resulting theory recovers many features of our established physical worldview: it predicts that it appears to observers $textit{as if there was an external world}$ that evolves according to simple, computable, probabilistic laws. In contrast to the standard view, objective reality is not assumed on this approach but rather provably emerges as an asymptotic statistical phenomenon. The resulting theory dissolves puzzles like cosmology’s Boltzmann brain problem, makes concrete predictions for thought experiments like the computer simulation of agents, and suggests novel phenomena such as “probabilistic zombies” governed by observer-dependent probabilistic chances. It also suggests that some basic phenomena of quantum theory (Bell inequality violation and no-signalling) might be understood as consequences of this framework.

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Cited by

[1] Augustin Vanrietvelde, Philipp A Hoehn, Flaminia Giacomini, and Esteban Castro-Ruiz, “A change of perspective: switching quantum reference frames via a perspective-neutral framework”, arXiv:1809.00556.

[2] Arne Hansen and Stefan Wolf, “The Measurement Problem Is the “Measurement” Problem”, arXiv:1810.04573.

[3] Markus P. Mueller, “Mind before matter: reversing the arrow of fundamentality”, arXiv:1812.08594.

[4] John Realpe-Gómez, “Modeling observers as physical systems representing the world from within: Quantum theory as a physical and self-referential theory of inference”, arXiv:1705.04307.

[5] Arne Hansen and Stefan Wolf, “Wigner’s Isolated Friend”, arXiv:1912.03248.

[6] Ali Barzegar, “QBism Is Not So Simply Dismissed”, Foundations of Physics 50 7, 693 (2020).

[7] John Realpe-Gomez, “Embodied observations from an intrinsic perspective can entail quantum dynamics”, arXiv:2005.03653.

The above citations are from SAO/NASA ADS (last updated successfully 2020-07-21 23:33:52). The list may be incomplete as not all publishers provide suitable and complete citation data.

On Crossref’s cited-by service no data on citing works was found (last attempt 2020-07-21 23:33:51).

Source: https://quantum-journal.org/papers/q-2020-07-20-301/

Quantum

On maximum-likelihood decoding with circuit-level errors

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Leonid P. Pryadko

Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA

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Abstract

Error probability distribution associated with a given Clifford measurement circuit is described exactly in terms of the circuit error-equivalence group, or the circuit subsystem code previously introduced by Bacon, Flammia, Harrow, and Shi. This gives a prescription for maximum-likelihood decoding with a given measurement circuit. Marginal distributions for subsets of circuit errors are also analyzed; these generate a family of related asymmetric LDPC codes of varying degeneracy. More generally, such a family is associated with any quantum code. Implications for decoding highly-degenerate quantum codes are discussed.

► BibTeX data

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Cited by

[1] Nicolas Delfosse, Ben W. Reichardt, and Krysta M. Svore, “Beyond single-shot fault-tolerant quantum error correction”, arXiv:2002.05180.

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On Crossref’s cited-by service no data on citing works was found (last attempt 2020-08-07 05:01:00).

Source: https://quantum-journal.org/papers/q-2020-08-06-304/

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Quantum

A robust W-state encoding for linear quantum optics

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Madhav Krishnan Vijayan1, Austin P. Lund2, and Peter P. Rohde1

1Centre for Quantum Software & Information (UTS:QSI), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia
2Centre for Quantum Computation & Communications Technology, School of Mathematics & Physics, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD, Australia

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Abstract

Error-detection and correction are necessary prerequisites for any scalable quantum computing architecture. Given the inevitability of unwanted physical noise in quantum systems and the propensity for errors to spread as computations proceed, computational outcomes can become substantially corrupted. This observation applies regardless of the choice of physical implementation. In the context of photonic quantum information processing, there has recently been much interest in $textit{passive}$ linear optics quantum computing, which includes boson-sampling, as this model eliminates the highly-challenging requirements for feed-forward via fast, active control. That is, these systems are $textit{passive}$ by definition. In usual scenarios, error detection and correction techniques are inherently $textit{active}$, making them incompatible with this model, arousing suspicion that physical error processes may be an insurmountable obstacle. Here we explore a photonic error-detection technique, based on W-state encoding of photonic qubits, which is entirely passive, based on post-selection, and compatible with these near-term photonic architectures of interest. We show that this W-state redundant encoding techniques enables the suppression of dephasing noise on photonic qubits via simple fan-out style operations, implemented by optical Fourier transform networks, which can be readily realised today. The protocol effectively maps dephasing noise into heralding failures, with zero failure probability in the ideal no-noise limit. We present our scheme in the context of a single photonic qubit passing through a noisy communication or quantum memory channel, which has not been generalised to the more general context of full quantum computation.

► BibTeX data

► References

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Sum-of-squares decompositions for a family of noncontextuality inequalities and self-testing of quantum devices

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Debashis Saha, Rafael Santos, and Remigiusz Augusiak

Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Aleja Lotników 32/46, 02-668 Warsaw, Poland

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Abstract

Violation of a noncontextuality inequality or the phenomenon referred to `quantum contextuality’ is a fundamental feature of quantum theory. In this article, we derive a novel family of noncontextuality inequalities along with their sum-of-squares decompositions in the simplest (odd-cycle) sequential-measurement scenario capable to demonstrate Kochen-Specker contextuality. The sum-of-squares decompositions allow us to obtain the maximal quantum violation of these inequalities and a set of algebraic relations necessarily satisfied by any state and measurements achieving it. With their help, we prove that our inequalities can be used for self-testing of three-dimensional quantum state and measurements. Remarkably, the presented self-testing results rely on weaker assumptions than the ones considered in Kochen-Specker contextuality.

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Source: https://quantum-journal.org/papers/q-2020-08-03-302/

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