A. Ferraro

A. Ferraro
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A. Ferraro

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Quantum Physics (41)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (7)
Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect (4)
Physics - Other (2)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By A. Ferraro

The Extreme Energy Events Project is a synchronous sparse array of 52 tracking detectors for studying High Energy Cosmic Rays (HECR) and Cosmic Rays-related phenomena. The observatory is also meant to address Long Distance Correlation (LDC) phenomena: the network is deployed over a broad area covering 10 degrees in latitude and 11 in longitude. An overview of a set of preliminary results is given, extending from the study of local muon flux dependance on solar activity to the investigation of the upward-going component of muon flux traversing the EEE stations; from the search for anisotropies at the sub-TeV scale to the hints for observations of km-scale Extensive Air Shower (EAS). Read More

We identify the families of states that maximise some recently proposed quantifiers of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) steering and the volume of the Quantum Steering Ellipsoid (QSE). The optimal measurements which maximise genuine EPR steering measures are discussed and we develop a novel way to find them using the QSE. We thus explore the links between genuine EPR steering and the QSE and introduce states that can be the most useful for one-sided device-independent quantum cryptography for a given amount of noise. Read More

We address the performance of a coin-biased quantum walk as a generator for non-classical position states of the walker. We exploit a phenomenon of coherent localisation in the position space --- resulting from the choice of small values of the coin parameter and assisted by post-selection --- to engineer large-size coherent superpositions of distinguishable position states of the walker. The protocol that we design appears to be remarkably robust against both the actual value taken by the coin parameter and strong dephasing-like noise acting on the spatial degree of freedom. Read More

Considering stationary states of continuous-variable systems undergoing an open dynamics, we unveil the connection between properties and symmetries of the latter and the dynamical parameters. In particular, we explore the relation between the Lyapunov equation for dynamical systems and the steady-state solutions of a time-independent Lindblad master equation for bosonic modes. Exploiting bona-fide relations that characterize some genuine quantum properties (entanglement, classicality, and steerability), we obtain conditions on the dynamical parameters for which the system is driven to a steady-state possessing such properties. Read More

We introduce a scheme to reconstruct an arbitrary quantum state of a mechanical oscillator network. We assume that a single element of the network is coupled to a cavity field via a linearized optomechanical interaction, whose time dependence is controlled by a classical driving field. By designing a suitable interaction profile, we show how the statistics of an arbitrary mechanical quadrature can be encoded in the cavity field, which can then be measured. Read More

Every finite-time transformation results in some production of entropy, which signals the occurrence of irreversibility. Quantifying the amount of irreversible entropy produced is a goal of paramount importance: it is a key quantity for the characterisation of non-equilibrium processes, and its minimisation improves the efficiency of thermal machines. So far, nanoscale systems have been used for the experimental study of classical out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics. Read More

We consider an optomechanical quantum system composed of a single cavity mode interacting with N mechanical resonators. We propose a scheme for generating continuous-variable graph states of arbitrary size and shape, including the so-called cluster states for universal quantum computation. The main feature of this scheme is that, differently from previous approaches, the graph states are hosted in the mechanical degrees of freedom rather than in the radiative ones. Read More

Nonclassicality is a key ingredient for quantum enhanced technologies and experiments involving macro- scopic quantum coherence. Considering various exactly-solvable quantum-oscillator systems, we address the role played by the anharmonicity of their potential in the establishment of nonclassical features. Specifically, we show that a monotonic relation exists between the the entropic nonlinearity of the considered potentials and their ground state nonclassicality, as quantified by the negativity of the Wigner function. Read More

Quantum technologies based on optical Gaussian states have proven very promising in terms of scalability. However, their use in quantum networking is hindered by the fact that Gaussian entanglement cannot be distilled via Gaussian operations. We take advantage of hybrid optomechanical systems to address this problem, proposing a scheme to distill optical two-mode squeezed vacua via unsharp measurements. Read More

In the context of bipartite bosonic systems, two notions of classicality of correlations can be defined: P-classicality, based on the properties of the Glauber-Sudarshan P-function; and C-classicality, based on the entropic quantum discord. It has been shown that these two notions are maximally inequivalent in a static (metric) sense -- as they coincide only on a set of states of zero measure. We extend and reinforce quantitatively this inequivalence by addressing the dynamical relation between these types of non-classicality in a paradigmatic quantum-optical setting: the linear mixing at a beam splitter of a single-mode Gaussian state with a thermal reference state. Read More

We address quantitatively the relationship between the nonlinearity of a mechanical resonator and the nonclassicality of its ground state. In particular, we analyze the nonclassical properties of the nonlinear Duffing oscillator (being driven or not) as a paradigmatic example of a nonlinear nanomechanical resonator. We first discuss how to quantify the nonlinearity of this system and then show that the nonclassicality of the ground state, as measured by the volume occupied by the negative part of the Wigner function, monotonically increases with the nonlinearity in all the working regimes addressed in our study. Read More

We address the out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics of an isolated quantum system consisting of a cavity optomechanical device. We explore the dynamical response of the system when driven out of equilibrium by a sudden quench of the coupling parameter and compute analytically the full distribution of the work generated by the process. We consider linear and quadratic optomechanical coupling, where the cavity field is parametrically coupled to either the position or the square of the position of a mechanical oscillator, respectively. Read More

Optomechanics is currently believed to provide a promising route towards the achievement of genuine quantum effects at the large, massive-system scale. By using a recently proposed figure of merit that is well suited to address continuous-variable systems, in this paper we analyze the requirements needed for the state of a mechanical mode (embodied by an end-cavity cantilever or a membrane placed within an optical cavity) to be qualified as macroscopic. We show that, according to the phase space-based criterion that we have chosen for our quantitative analysis, the state achieved through strong single-photon radiation-pressure coupling to a quantized field of light and conditioned by measurements operated on the latter might be interpreted as macroscopically quantum. Read More

We address the problem of heat transport in a chain of coupled quantum harmonic oscillators, exposed to the influences of local environments of various nature, stressing the effects that the specific nature of the environment has on the phenomenology of the transport process. We study in detail the behavior of thermodynamically relevant quantities such as heat currents and mean energies of the oscillators, establishing rigorous analytical conditions for the existence of a steady state, whose features we analyse carefully. In particular we assess the conditions that should be faced to recover trends reminiscent of the classical Fourier law of heat conduction and highlight how such a possibility depends on the environment linked to our system. Read More

We analyse the nature of the statistics of the work done on or by a quantum many-body system brought out of equilibrium. We show that, for the sudden quench and for an initial state which commutes with the initial Hamiltonian, it is possible to retrieve the whole non-equilibrium thermodynamics via single projective measurements of observables. We highlight in a physically clear way the qualitative implications for the statistics of work coming from considering processes described by operators that either commute or do not commute with the unperturbed Hamiltonian of a given system. Read More

We propose a system composed of a qubit interacting with a quartic (undriven) nonlinear oscillator (NLO) through a conditional displacement Hamiltonian. We show that even a modest nonlinear perturbation in the NLO potential can enhance and stabilize the quantum entanglement dynamically generated between the qubit and the NLO. In absence of the nonlinearity the entanglement between the qubit and the oscillator is known to periodically oscillate between 0 and 1, whereas the nonlinearity suppresses the dynamical decay of entanglement once it is generated. Read More

The thermodynamic implications for the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of quantum systems are to date largely unexplored, especially for quantum many-body systems. In this paper we investigate the paradigmatic case of an array of nearest-neighbor coupled quantum harmonic oscillators interacting with a thermal bath and subjected to a quench of the inter-oscillator coupling strength. We study the work done on the system and its irreversible counterpart, and characterize analytically the fluctuation relations of the ensuing out-of-equilibrium dynamics. Read More

We propose a general framework to effectively `open' a high-Q resonator, that is, to release the quantum state initially prepared in it in the form of a traveling electromagnetic wave. This is achieved by employing a mediating mode that scatters coherently the radiation from the resonator into a one-dimensional continuum of modes such as a waveguide. The same mechanism may be used to `feed' a desired quantum field to an initially empty cavity. Read More

We consider two celebrated criteria for defining the non-classicality of bipartite bosonic quantum systems, the first stemming from information theoretic concepts and the second from physical constraints on the quantum phase-space. Consequently, two sets of allegedly classical states are singled out: i) the set C composed of the so called classical-classical (CC) states---separable states that are locally distinguishable and do not possess quantum discord; ii) the set P of states endowed with a positive P-representation (P-classical states)---mixture of Glauber coherent states that, e.g. Read More

We investigate an optical quantum memory scheme with V-type three-level atoms based on the controlled reversible inhomogeneous broadening (CRIB) technique. We theoretically show the possibility to store and retrieve a weak light pulse interacting with the two optical transitions of the system. This scheme implements a quantum memory for a polarization qubit - a single photon in an arbitrary polarization state - without the need of two spatially separated two-level media, thus offering the advantage of experimental compactness overcoming the limitations due to mismatching and unequal efficiencies that can arise in spatially separated memories. Read More

We address the propagation of a single photon pulse with two polarization components, i.e., a polarization qubit, in an inhomogeneously broadened "phaseonium" \Lambda-type three-level medium. Read More

We introduce a scheme to reconstruct arbitrary states of networks composed of quantum oscillators--e.g., the motional state of trapped ions or the radiation state of coupled cavities. Read More

We introduce a general scheme for sequential one-way quantum computation where static systems with long-living quantum coherence (memories) interact with moving systems that may possess very short coherence times. Both the generation of the cluster state needed for the computation and its consumption by measurements are carried out simultaneously. As a consequence, effective clusters of one spatial dimension fewer than in the standard approach are sufficient for computation. Read More

We consider the concept of temperature in a setting beyond the standard thermodynamics prescriptions. Namely, rather than restricting to standard coarse-grained measurements, we consider observers able to master any possible quantum measurement--a scenario that might be relevant at nanoscopic scales. In this setting, we focus on quantum systems of coupled harmonic oscillators and study the question of whether the temperature is an intensive quantity, in the sense that a block of a thermal state can be approximated by an effective thermal state at the same temperature as the whole system. Read More

We introduce a family of Hamiltonian systems for measurement-based quantum computation with continuous variables. The Hamiltonians (i) are quadratic, and therefore two body, (ii) are of short range, (iii) are frustration-free, and (iv) possess a constant energy gap proportional to the squared inverse of the squeezing. Their ground states are the celebrated Gaussian graph states, which are universal resources for quantum computation in the limit of infinite squeezing. Read More

We address the presence of bound entanglement in strongly-interacting spin systems at thermal equilibrium. In particular, we consider thermal graph states composed of an arbitrary number of particles. We show that for a certain range of temperatures no entanglement can be extracted by means of local operations and classical communication, even though the system is still entangled. Read More

Quantum discord quantifies non-classical correlations in a quantum system including those not captured by entanglement. Thus, only states with zero discord exhibit strictly classical correlations. We prove that these states are negligible in the whole Hilbert space: typically a state picked out at random has positive discord; and, given a state with zero discord, a generic arbitrarily small perturbation drives it to a positive-discord state. Read More

We study the entanglement distillability properties of thermal states of many-body systems. Following the ideas presented in [D.Cavalcanti et al. Read More

We investigate the violation of local realism in Bell tests involving homodyne measurements performed on multimode continuous-variable states. By binning the measurement outcomes in an appropriate way, we prove that the Mermin-Klyshko inequality can be violated by an amount that grows exponentially with the number of modes. Furthermore, the maximum violation allowed by quantum mechanics can be attained for any number of modes, albeit requiring a quantum state that is rather unrealistic. Read More

We consider blocks of quantum spins in a chain at thermal equilibrium, focusing on their properties from a thermodynamical perspective. Whereas in classical systems the temperature behaves as an intensive magnitude, a deviation from this behavior is expected in quantum systems. In particular, we see that under some conditions the description of the blocks as thermal states with the same global temperature as the whole chain fails. Read More

Does bound entanglement naturally appear in quantum many-body systems? We address this question by showing the existence of bound-entangled thermal states for harmonic oscillator systems consisting of an arbitrary number of particles. By explicit calculations of the negativity for different partitions, we find a range of temperatures for which no entanglement can be distilled by means of local operations, despite the system being globally entangled. We offer an interpretation of this result in terms of entanglement-area laws, typical of these systems. Read More

We address the presence of non-distillable (bound) entanglement in natural many-body systems. In particular, we consider standard harmonic and spin-1/2 chains, at thermal equilibrium and characterized by few interaction parameters. The existence of bound entanglement is addressed by calculating explicitly the negativity of entanglement for different partitions. Read More

Cloning of observables, unlike standard cloning of states, aims at copying the information encoded in the statistics of a class of observables rather then on quantum states themselves. In such a process the emphasis is on the quantum operation (evolution plus measurement) necessary to retrieve the original information. We analyze, for qubit systems, the cloning of a class generated by two noncommuting observables, elucidating the relationship between such a process and joint measurements. Read More

We consider the ground-state entanglement in highly connected many-body systems, consisting of harmonic oscillators and spin-1/2 systems. Varying their degree of connectivity, we investigate the interplay between the enhancement of entanglement, due to connections, and its frustration, due to monogamy constraints. Remarkably, we see that in many situations the degree of entanglement in a highly connected system is essentially of the same order as in a low connected one. Read More

We introduce the concept of cloning for classes of observables and classify cloning machines for qubit systems according to the number of parameters needed to describe the class under investigation. A no-cloning theorem for observables is derived and the connections between cloning of observables and joint measurements of noncommuting observables are elucidated. Relationships with cloning of states and non-demolition measurements are also analyzed. Read More

We address the distribution of quantum information among many parties in the presence of noise. In particular, we consider how to optimally send to m receivers the information encoded into an unknown coherent state. On one hand, a local strategy is considered, consisting in a local cloning process followed by direct transmission. Read More

We address generation, propagation and application of multipartite continuous variable entanglement in a noisy environment. In particular, we focus our attention on the multimode entangled states achievable by second order nonlinear crystals, {\em i.e. Read More

These notes originated out of a set of lectures in Quantum Optics and Quantum Information given by one of us (MGAP) at the University of Napoli and the University of Milano. A quite broad set of issues are covered, ranging from elementary concepts to current research topics, and from fundamental concepts to applications. A special emphasis has been given to the phase space analysis of quantum dynamics and to the role of Gaussian states in continuous variable quantum information. Read More

We address nonlocality of a class of fully inseparable three-mode Gaussian states generated either by bilinear three-mode Hamiltonians or by a sequence of bilinear two-mode Hamiltonians. Two different tests revealing strong nonlocality are considered, in which the dichotomic Bell operator is represented by displaced parity and by pseudospin operator respectively. Three-mode states are also considered as a conditional source of two-mode non Gaussian states, whose nonlocal properties are analyzed. Read More

We extend the Collective Atomic Recoil Lasing (CARL) model including the effects of friction and diffusion forces acting on the atoms due to the presence of optical molasses fields. The results from this model are consistent with those from a recent experiment by Kruse et al. [Phys. Read More

We address the generation of fully inseparable three-mode entangled states of radiation by interlinked nonlinear interactions in $\chi^{(2)}$ media. We show how three-mode entanglement can be used to realize symmetric and asymmetric telecloning machines, which achieve optimal fidelity for coherent states. An experimental implementation involving a single nonlinear crystal where the two interactions take place simultaneously is suggested. Read More

We propose a realistic scheme for measuring the micromaser linewidth by monitoring the phase diffusion dynamics of the cavity field. Our strategy consists in exciting an initial coherent state with the same photon number distribution as the micromaser steady-state field, singling out a purely diffusive process in the system dynamics. After the injection of a counter-field, measurements of the population statistics of a probe atom allow us to derive the micromaser linewidth. Read More