George C. Knee

George C. Knee
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George C. Knee

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Quantum Physics (14)
Physics - Data Analysis; Statistics and Probability (2)
Physics - Optics (1)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (1)
Physics - Computational Physics (1)
Physics - Biological Physics (1)
Physics - Chemical Physics (1)
Physics - History of Physics (1)

Publications Authored By George C. Knee

We study a large number of physically-plausible arrangements of chromophores, generated via a computational method involving stochastic real-space transformations of a naturally occurring `reference' structure, illustrating our methodology using the well-studied Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex (FMO). To explore the idea that the natural structure has been tuned for efficient energy transport we use an atomic transition charge method to calculate the excitonic couplings of each generated structure and a Lindblad master equation to study the quantum transport of an exciton from a `source' to a `drain' chromophore. We find significant correlations between structure and transport efficiency: High-performing structures tend to be more compact and, among those, the best structures display a certain orientation of the chromophores, particularly the chromophore closest to the source-to-drain vector. Read More

Testing quantum theory on macroscopic scales is a longstanding challenge that might help to revolutionise physics. For example, laboratory tests (such as those anticipated in nanomechanical or biological systems) may look to rule out macroscopic realism: the idea that the properties of macroscopic objects exist objectively and can be non-invasively measured. Such investigations are likely to suffer from i) stringent experimental requirements, ii) marginal statistical significance and iii) logical loopholes. Read More

Accurate quantum tomography is a vital tool in both fundamental and applied quantum science. It is a task that involves processing a noisy measurement record in order to construct a reliable estimate of an unknown quantum state, and is central to quantum computing, metrology, and communication. To date, many different approaches to quantum state estimation have been developed, yet no one method fits all applications, and all fail relatively quickly as the dimensionality of the unknown state grows. Read More

The Barrett-Cavalcanti-Lal-Maroney (BCLM) argument stands as the most effective means of demonstrating the reality of the quantum state. Its advantages include being derived from very few assumptions, and a robustness to experimental error. Finding the best way to implement the argument experimentally is an open problem, however, and involves cleverly choosing sets of states and measurements. Read More

We investigate how discrete internal degrees of freedom in a quasi-macroscopic system affect the violation of the Leggett--Garg inequality, a test of macroscopic-realism based on temporal correlation functions. As a specific example, we focus on an ensemble of qubits subject to collective and individual noise. This generic model can describe a range of physical systems, including atoms in cavities, electron or nuclear spins in NV centers in diamond, erbium in Y$_2$SiO$_5$, bismuth impurities in silicon, or arrays of superconducting circuits, to indicate but a few. Read More

Macroscopic realism is the name for a class of modifications to quantum theory that allow macroscopic objects to be described in a measurement-independent manner, while largely preserving a fully quantum mechanical description of the microscopic world. Objective collapse theories are examples which aim to solve the quantum measurement problem through modified dynamical laws. Whether such theories describe nature, however, is not known. Read More

Squeezed states of spin systems are an important entangled resource for quantum technologies, particularly quantum metrology and sensing. Here we consider the generation of spin squeezed states by interacting the spins with a dissipative ancillary system. We show that spin squeezing can be generated in this model by two different mechanisms: one-axis twisting and driven collective relaxation. Read More

We study the problem of estimating the magnitude of a Gaussian beam displacement using a two pixel or 'split' detector. We calculate the maximum likelihood estimator, and compute its asymptotic mean-squared-error via the Fisher information. Although the signal-to-noise ratio is known to be simply related to the Fisher information under idealised detection, we find the two measures of precision differ markedly for a split detector. Read More

Universal quantum simulation may provide insights into those many-body systems that cannot be described classically, and that cannot be efficiently simulated with current technology. The Trotter formula, which decomposes a desired unitary time evolution of the simulator into a stroboscopic sequence of repeated elementary evolutions, is a key algorithmic component which makes quantum simulation of dynamics tractable. The Trotter number $n$ sets the timescale on which a computer running this algorithm is switched from one elementary evolution to another. Read More

Weak values arise in quantum theory when the result of a weak measurement is conditioned on a subsequent strong measurement. The majority of the trials are discarded, leaving only very few successful events. Intriguingly those can display a substantial signal amplification. Read More

The application of postselection to a weak quantum measurement leads to the phenomenon of weak values. Expressed in units of the measurement strength, the displacement of a quantum coherent measuring device is ordinarily bounded by the eigenspectrum of the measured observable. Postselection can enable an interference effect that moves the average displacement far outside this range, bringing practical benefits in certain situations. Read More

Sensors that harness exclusively quantum phenomena (such as entanglement) can achieve superior performance compared to those employing only classical principles. Recently, a technique based on postselected, weakly-performed measurements has emerged as a method of overcoming technical noise in the detection and estimation of small interaction parameters, particularly in optical systems. The question of which other types of noise may be combatted remains open. Read More

A recent paper by Souza, Oliveira and Sarthour (SOS) reports the experimental violation of a Leggett-Garg inequality (sometimes referred to as a temporal Bell inequality). The inequality tests for quantum mechanical superposition: if the inequality is violated, the dynamics cannot be explained by a large class of classical theories under the heading of macrorealism. Experimental tests of the LG inequality are beset by the difficulty of performing the necessary so-called 'non-invasive' measurements (which for the macrorealist will extract information from a system of interest without disturbing it). Read More

The quantum superposition principle states that an entity can exist in two different states simultaneously, counter to our 'classical' intuition. Is it possible to understand a given system's behaviour without such a concept? A test designed by Leggett and Garg can rule out this possibility. The test, originally intended for macroscopic objects, has been implemented in various systems. Read More