Inverse design of high-dimensional quantum optical circuits in Nature Physics !

Programmable optical circuits are an important tool in developing quantum technologies such as transceivers for quantum communication and integrated photonic chips for quantum information processing. Maintaining precise control over every individual component becomes challenging at large scales, leading to a reduction in the quality of operations performed. In parallel, minor imperfections in circuit fabrication are amplified in this regime, dramatically inhibiting their performance. Here we use inverse design techniques to embed optical circuits in the higher-dimensional space of a large, ambient mode mixer such as a commercial multimode fibre. This approach allows us to forgo control over each individual circuit element, and retain a high degree of programmability. We use our circuits as quantum gates to manipulate high-dimensional spatial-mode entanglement in up to seven dimensions. Their programmability allows us to turn a multimode fibre into a generalized multioutcome measurement device, allowing us to both transport and certify entanglement within the transmission channel. With the support of numerical simulations, we show that our method is a scalable approach to obtaining high circuit fidelity with a low circuit depth by harnessing the resource of a high-dimensional mode mixer.

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Dawn and fall of non-Gaussianity in the quantum parametric oscillator

Systems of coupled optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) forming an Ising machine are emerging as large-scale simulators of the Ising model. The advances in computer science and nonlinear optics have triggered not only the physical realization of hybrid (electro-optical) or all-optical Ising machines, but also the demonstration of quantum-inspired algorithms boosting their performances. To date, the use of the quantum nature of parametrically generated light as a further resource for computation represents a major open issue. A key quantum feature is the non-Gaussian character of the system state across the oscillation threshold. In this paper, we perform an extensive analysis of the emergence of non-Gaussianity in the single quantum OPO with an applied external field. We model the OPO by a Lindblad master equation, which is numerically solved by an ab initio method based on exact diagonalization. Non-Gaussianity is quantified by means of three different metrics: Hilbert-Schmidt distance, quantum relative entropy, and photon distribution. Our findings reveal a nontrivial interplay between parametric drive and applied field: (i) Increasing pump monotonously enhances non-Gaussianity, and (ii) Increasing field first sharpens non-Gaussianity, and then restores the Gaussian character of the state when above a threshold value.

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Exponential improvement in combinatorial optimization by hyperspins

Classical or quantum physical systems can simulate the Ising Hamiltonian for large-scale optimization and machine learning. However, devices such as quantum annealers and coherent Ising machines suffer an exponential drop in the probability of success in finite-size scaling. We show that by exploiting high dimensional embedding of the Ising Hamiltonian and subsequent dimensional annealing, the drop is counteracted by an exponential improvement in the performance. Our analysis relies on extensive statistics of the convergence dynamics by high-performance computing. We propose a realistic experimental implementation of the new annealing device by off-the-shelf coherent Ising machine technology. The hyperscaling heuristics can also be applied to other quantum or classical Ising machines by engineering nonlinear gain, loss, and non-local couplings.

Hyperscaling in the coherent hyperspin machine

Biosensing with free space whispering gallery mode microlasers

Highly accurate biosensors for few or single molecule detection play a central role in numerous key fields, such as healthcare and environmental monitoring. In the last decade, laser biosensors have been investigated as proofs of concept, and several technologies have been proposed. We here propose a demonstration of polymeric whispering gallery microlasers as biosensors for detecting small amounts of proteins down to 400 pg. They have the advantage of working in free space without any need for waveguiding for input excitation or output signal detection. The photonic microsensors can be easily patterned on microscope slides and operate in air and solution. We estimate the limit of detection up to 148 nm/RIU for three different protein dispersions. In addition, the sensing ability of passive spherical resonators in the presence of dielectric nanoparticles that mimic proteins is described by massive ab initio numerical simulations.