Graeme Smith - UCO/Lick Observatory

Graeme Smith
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Graeme Smith
UCO/Lick Observatory

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Quantum Physics (29)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (13)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (12)
Mathematics - Information Theory (8)
Computer Science - Information Theory (8)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (3)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (2)
Mathematical Physics (2)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (1)
Computer Science - Computational Complexity (1)
Computer Science - Distributed; Parallel; and Cluster Computing (1)

Publications Authored By Graeme Smith

We determine both the quantum and the private capacities of low-noise quantum channels to leading orders in the channel's distance to the perfect channel. It has been an open problem for more than 20 years to determine the capacities of some of these low-noise channels such as the depolarizing channel. We also show that both capacities are equal to the single-letter coherent information of the channel, again to leading orders. Read More

We derive general upper bounds on the distillable entanglement of a mixed state under one-way and two-way LOCC. In both cases, the upper bound is based on a convex decomposition of the state into 'useful' and 'useless' quantum states. By 'useful', we mean a state whose distillable entanglement is non-negative and equal to its coherent information (and thus given by a single-letter, tractable formula). Read More

We spectroscopically identify a sample of carbon stars in the satellites and halo of M31 using moderate-resolution optical spectroscopy from the Spectroscopic and Photometric Landscape of Andromeda's Stellar Halo survey. We present the photometric properties of our sample of 41 stars, including their brightness with respect to the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) and their distributions in various color-color spaces. This analysis reveals a bluer population of carbon stars fainter than the TRGB and a redder population of carbon stars brighter than the TRGB. Read More

Information theory establishes the fundamental limits on data transmission, storage, and processing. Quantum information theory unites information theoretic ideas with an accurate quantum-mechanical description of reality to give a more accurate and complete theory with new and more powerful possibilities for information processing. The goal of both classical and quantum information theory is to quantify the optimal rates of interconversion of different resources. Read More

We explore the ratio (C/M) of carbon-rich to oxygen-rich thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch(TP-AGB) stars in the disk of M31 using a combination of moderate-resolution optical spectroscopy from the Spectroscopic Landscape of Andromeda's Stellar Halo (SPLASH) survey and six-filter Hubble Space Telescope photometry from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey.Carbon stars were identified spectroscopically. Oxygen-rich M-stars were identifed using three different photometric definitions designed to mimic, and thus evaluate, selection techniques common in the literature. Read More

Helium is a pivotal element in understanding multiple main sequences and extended horizontal branches observed in some globular clusters. Here we present a spectroscopic study of helium in the nearby globular cluster M4. We have obtained spectra of the chromospheric He I 10830 A line in 16 red horizontal branch, red giant branch, and asymptotic giant branch stars. Read More

We propose examples of a hybrid quantum-classical simulation where a classical computer assisted by a small quantum processor can efficiently simulate a larger quantum system. First we consider sparse quantum circuits such that each qubit participates in O(1) two-qubit gates. It is shown that any sparse circuit on n+k qubits can be simulated by sparse circuits on n qubits and a classical processing that takes time $2^{O(k)} poly(n)$. Read More

Affiliations: 1UCO/Lick Observatory, 2CfA/SAO, 3Michigan St.

Two properties of Messier 13 are pertinent to the study of mass loss among metal-poor stars and the chemical evolution of globular clusters: (i) an extended blue horizontal branch, which seems to demand mass loss from red giant progenitor stars and possibly an enhanced helium abundance, and (ii) the presence of internal abundance inhomogeneities of elements in the mass range from C to Al. A popular explanation for this second phenomenon is that M13 was self-enriched by intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch (IM-AGB) stars of a type that may also have been able to instigate helium enrichment. Spectra of the 10830 A absorption feature produced by He I have been obtained by using the NIRSPEC spectrometer on the Keck 2 telescope for seven red giants in M13 chosen to have a range in 3883 CN band strengths, oxygen, and sodium abundances. Read More

We prove a version of the quantum de Finetti theorem: permutation-invariant quantum states are well approximated as a probabilistic mixture of multi-fold product states. The approximation is measured by distinguishability under fully one-way LOCC (local operations and classical communication) measurements. Our result strengthens Brand\~{a}o and Harrow's de Finetti theorem where a kind of partially one-way LOCC measurements was used for measuring the approximation, with essentially the same error bound. Read More

Random walks have been proposed as a simple method of efficiently searching, or disseminating information throughout, communication and sensor networks. In nature, animals (such as ants) tend to follow correlated random walks, i.e. Read More

Noise is often regarded as anathema to quantum computation, but in some settings it can be an unlikely ally. We consider the problem of learning the class of $n$-bit parity functions by making queries to a quantum example oracle. In the absence of noise, quantum and classical parity learning are easy and almost equally powerful, both information-theoretically and computationally. Read More

The SSSV model is a simple classical model that achieves excellent correlation with published experimental data on the D-Wave machine's behavior on random instances of its native problem, thus raising questions about how "quantum" the D-Wave machine is at large scales. In response, a recent preprint by Vinci et al. proposes a particular set of instances on which the D-Wave machine behaves differently from the SSSV model. Read More

Recently there has been intense interest in claims about the performance of the D-Wave machine. In this paper, we outline a simple classical model, and show that it achieves excellent correlation with published input-output behavior of the D-Wave One machine on 108 qubits. While raising questions about "how quantum" the D-Wave machine is, the new model also provides additional algorithmic insights into the nature of the native computational problem solved by the D-Wave machine. Read More

Privacy lies at the fundament of quantum mechanics. A coherently transmitted quantum state is inherently private. Remarkably, coherent quantum communication is not a prerequisite for privacy: there are quantum channels that are too noisy to transmit any quantum information reliably that can nevertheless send private classical information. Read More

We present new constructions of codes for asymmetric channels for both binary and nonbinary alphabets, based on methods of generalized code concatenation. For the binary asymmetric channel, our methods construct nonlinear single-error-correcting codes from ternary outer codes. We show that some of the Varshamov-Tenengol'ts-Constantin-Rao codes, a class of binary nonlinear codes for this channel, have a nice structure when viewed as ternary codes. Read More

Data from the literature are used to explore the relation between $\lambda$3883 CN band strength and the sodium and oxygen abundances of red giants in the globular cluster Messier 5. Although there is a broad tendency for CN-strong giants in this cluster to have higher sodium abundances and lower oxygen abundances than CN-weak giants of comparable absolute magnitude there are some secondary features in these relations. The oxygen abundance [O/Fe] shows a greater range (0. Read More

We investigate the loss of low-mass stars in two of the faintest globular clusters known, AM 4 and Palomar 13 (Pal 13), using HST/WFC3 F606W and F814W photometry. To determine the physical properties of each cluster --- age, mass, metallicity, extinction, present day mass function (MF) --- we use the maximum likelihood color-magnitude diagram (CMD) fitting program MATCH and the Dartmouth, Padova and BaSTI stellar evolution models. For AM 4, the Dartmouth models provide the best match to the CMD and yield an age of >13 Gyr, metallicity log Z/Z_solar = -1. Read More

A pair of recent articles concluded that the D-Wave One machine actually operates in the quantum regime, rather than performing some classical evolution. Here we give a classical model that leads to the same behaviors used in those works to infer quantum effects. Thus, the evidence presented does not demonstrate the presence of quantum effects. Read More

Entanglement is a fundamental resource for quantum information processing. In its pure form, it allows quantum teleportation and sharing classical secrets. Realistic quantum states are noisy and their usefulness is only partially understood. Read More

Measurements of [C/Fe], [Ca/H], and [Fe/H] have been derived from Keck I LRISb spectra of 35 giants in the Draco dwarf spheroidal galaxy. The iron abundances are derived by a spectrum synthesis modeling of the wavelength region from 4850 to 5375 A, while calcium and carbon abundances are obtained by fitting the Ca II H and K lines and the CH G band respectively. A range in metallicity of -2. Read More


Spectra of the He I 10830 line have been obtained for 23 metal-poor stars, the majority of which are dwarfs ranging in metallicity from [Fe/H] = -2.1 to -0.8. Read More

Shor's algorithm for factoring in polynomial time on a quantum computer\cite{Shor} gives an enormous advantage over all known classical factoring algorithm. We demonstrate how to factor products of large prime numbers using a compiled version of Shor's quantum factoring algorithm. Our technique can factor all products of $p,q$ such that $p,q$ are unequal primes greater than two, runs in constant time, and requires only two coherent qubits. Read More

The process of chemical self-enrichment in stellar systems can be affected by the total mass of the system and the conditions of the large-scale environment. Globular clusters are a special dark matter-free case of chemical evolution, in which the only self-enrichment comes from material processed in stars, and only two bursts of star formation occur. We describe how observations of intermediate-age star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud can provide insight on the ways that mass and environment can affect the process of chemical enrichment in star clusters. Read More

Information theory establishes the ultimate limits on performance for noisy communication systems [Shannon48]. An accurate model of a physical communication device must include quantum effects, but typically including these makes the theory intractable. As a result communication capacities are not known, even for transmission between two users connected by an electromagnetic waveguide subject to gaussian noise. Read More

We find a tight upper bound for the classical capacity of quantum thermal noise channels that is within $1/\ln 2$ bits of Holevo's lower bound. This lower bound is achievable using unentangled, classical signal states, namely displaced coherent states. Thus, we find that while quantum tricks might offer benefits, when it comes to classical communication they can only help a bit. Read More

Almost all modern communication systems rely on electromagnetic fields as a means of information transmission, and finding the capacities of these systems is a problem of significant practical importance. The Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) channel is often a good approximate description of such systems, and its capacity is given by a simple formula. However, when quantum effects are important, estimating the capacity becomes difficult: a lower bound is known, but a similar upper bound is missing. Read More

When two independent analog signals, X and Y are added together giving Z=X+Y, the entropy of Z, H(Z), is not a simple function of the entropies H(X) and H(Y), but rather depends on the details of X and Y's distributions. Nevertheless, the entropy power inequality (EPI), which states that exp [2H(Z)] \geq exp[2H(X)] + exp[2H(Y)], gives a very tight restriction on the entropy of Z. This inequality has found many applications in information theory and statistics. Read More

It is now widely accepted that globular cluster red giant branch stars owe their strange abundance patterns to a combination of pollution from progenitor stars and in situ extra mixing. In this hybrid theory a first generation of stars imprint abundance patterns into the gas from which a second generation forms. The hybrid theory suggests that extra mixing is operating in both populations and we use the variation of [C/Fe] with luminosity to examine how efficient this mixing is. Read More

It is known that from entangled states that have positive partial transpose it is not possible to distill maximally entangled states by local operations and classical communication (LOCC). A long-standing open question is whether maximally entangled states can be distilled from every state with a non-positive partial transpose. In this paper we study a possible approach to the question consisting of enlarging the class of operations allowed. Read More

We describe two quantum channels that individually cannot send any information, even classical, without some chance of decoding error. But together a single use of each channel can send quantum information perfectly reliably. This proves that the zero-error classical capacity exhibits superactivation, the extreme form of the superadditivity phenomenon in which entangled inputs allow communication over zero capacity channels. Read More

Using unreliable or noisy components for reliable communication requires error correction. But which noise processes can support information transmission, and which are too destructive? For classical systems any channel whose output depends on its input has the capacity for communication, but the situation is substantially more complicated in the quantum setting. We find a generic test for incapacity based on any suitable forbidden transformation---a protocol for communication with a channel passing our test would also allow us to implement the associated forbidden transformation. Read More

We provide an efficient method for computing the maximum likelihood mixed quantum state (with density matrix rho) given a set of measurement outcome in a complete orthonormal operator basis subject to Gaussian noise. Our method works by first changing basis yielding a candidate density matrix mu which may have nonphysical (negative) eigenvalues, and then finding the nearest physical state under the 2-norm. Our algorithm takes at worst O(d^4) for the basis change plus O(d^3) for finding rho where d is the dimension of the quantum state. Read More

As with classical information, error-correcting codes enable reliable transmission of quantum information through noisy or lossy channels. In contrast to the classical theory, imperfect quantum channels exhibit a strong kind of synergy: there exist pairs of discrete memoryless quantum channels, each of zero quantum capacity, which acquire positive quantum capacity when used together. Here we show that this "superactivation" phenomenon also occurs in the more realistic setting of optical channels with attenuation and Gaussian noise. Read More

We present analysis of high-resolution spectra of a sample of stars in the globular cluster M5 (NGC 5904). The sample includes stars from the red giant branch (seven stars), the red horizontal branch (two stars), and the asymptotic giant branch (eight stars), with effective temperatures ranging from 4000 K to 6100 K. Spectra were obtained with the HIRES spectrometer on the Keck I telescope, with a wavelength coverage from 3700 to 7950 angstroms for the HB and AGB sample, and 5300 to 7600 angstroms for the majority of the RGB sample. Read More

The double main sequence identified in the globular cluster Omega Centauri has been interpreted using isochrones to indicate a large variation in the abundance of helium. If true, a helium enhancement carries strong implications for the chemical and stellar evolutionary history of this cluster. However, only indirect measures currently support this conjecture. Read More

We review the observational evidence for extra mixing in stars on the red giant branch (RGB) and discuss why thermohaline mixing is a strong candidate mechanism. We recall the simple phenomenological description of thermohaline mixing, and aspects of mixing in stars in general. We use observations of M3 to constrain the form of the thermohaline diffusion coefficient and any associated free parameters. Read More

We derive the star formation histories of eight dwarf spheroidal (dSph) Milky Way satellite galaxies from their alpha element abundance patterns. Nearly 3000 stars from our previously published catalog (Paper II) comprise our data set. The average [alpha/Fe] ratios for all dSphs follow roughly the same path with increasing [Fe/H]. Read More

Affiliations: 1McDonald Observatory, 2ARI/University of Heidelberg, 3Baylor University, 4UT-Austin, 5Penn State, 6UCO/Lick Observatory, 7STScI

We present low-resolution (R~850) spectra for 67 asymptotic giant branch (AGB), horizontal branch and red giant branch (RGB) stars in the low-metallicity globular cluster NGC 5466, taken with the VIRUS-P integral-field spectrograph at the 2.7-m Harlan J. Smith telescope at McDonald Observatory. Read More

A quantum communication channel can be put to many uses: it can transmit classical information, private classical information, or quantum information. It can be used alone, with shared entanglement, or together with other channels. For each of these settings there is a capacity that quantifies a channel's potential for communication. Read More

The zero-error capacity of a channel is the rate at which it can send information perfectly, with zero probability of error, and has long been studied in classical information theory. We show that the zero-error capacity of quantum channels exhibits an extreme form of non-additivity, one which is not possible for classical channels, or even for the usual capacities of quantum channels. By combining probabilistic arguments with algebraic geometry, we prove that there exist channels E1 and E2 with no zero-error classical capacity whatsoever, C_0(E1) = C_0(E2) = 0, but whose joint zero-error quantum capacity is positive, Q_0(E1 x E2) >= 1. Read More

We study the power of closed timelike curves (CTCs) and other nonlinear extensions of quantum mechanics for distinguishing nonorthogonal states and speeding up hard computations. If a CTC-assisted computer is presented with a labeled mixture of states to be distinguished--the most natural formulation--we show that the CTC is of no use. The apparent contradiction with recent claims that CTC-assisted computers can perfectly distinguish nonorthogonal states is resolved by noting that CTC-assisted evolution is nonlinear, so the output of such a computer on a mixture of inputs is not a convex combination of its output on the mixture's pure components. Read More

We construct families of high performance quantum amplitude damping codes. All of our codes are nonadditive and most modestly outperform the best possible additive codes in terms of encoded dimension. One family is built from nonlinear error-correcting codes for classical asymmetric channels, with which we systematically construct quantum amplitude damping codes with parameters better than any prior construction known for any block length n > 7 except n=2^r-1. Read More

Affiliations: 1Harvey Mudd College, 2University of Texas, 3UCO/Lick Observatory

Measurements of the asymmetry of the emission peaks in the core of the Ca II H line for 105 giant stars are reported. The asymmetry is quantified with the parameter V/R, defined as the ratio between the maximum number of counts in the blueward peak and the redward peak of the emission profile. The Ca II H and K emission lines probe the differential motion of certain chromospheric layers in the stellar atmosphere. Read More

We have obtained velocity dispersions from Keck high-resolution integrated spectroscopy of ten M31 globular clusters (GCs), including three candidate intermediate-age GCs. We show that these candidates have the same V-band mass-to-light (M/L_V) ratios as the other GCs, implying that they are likely to be old. We also find a trend of derived velocity dispersion with wavelength, but cannot distinguish between a systematic error and a physical effect. Read More

We present a comparison of CN bandstrength variations in the high-metallicity globular clusters NGC 6356 and NGC 6528 with those measured in the old open clusters NGC 188, NCG 2158 and NGC 7789. Star-to-star abundance variations, of which CN differences are a readily observable sign, are commonplace in moderate-metallicity halo globular clusters but are unseen in the field or in open clusters. We find that the open clusters have narrow, unimodal distributions of CN bandstrength, as expected from the literature, while the globular clusters have broad, bimodal distributions of CN bandstrength, similar to moderate-metallicity halo globular clusters. Read More

Quantum information theory establishes the ultimate limits on communication and cryptography in terms of channel capacities for various types of information. The private capacity is particularly important because it quantifies achievable rates of quantum key distribution. We study the power of quantum channels with limited private capacity, focusing on channels that dephase in random bases. Read More

We introduce the concept of generalized concatenated quantum codes. This generalized concatenation method provides a systematical way for constructing good quantum codes, both stabilizer codes and nonadditive codes. Using this method, we construct families of new single-error-correcting nonadditive quantum codes, in both binary and nonbinary cases, which not only outperform any stabilizer codes for finite block length, but also asymptotically achieve the quantum Hamming bound for large block length. Read More

We prove that a broad array of capacities of a quantum channel are continuous. That is, two channels that are close with respect to the diamond norm have correspondingly similar communication capabilities. We first show that the classical capacity, quantum capacity, and private classical capacity are continuous, with the variation on arguments epsilon apart bounded by a simple function of epsilon and the channel's output dimension. Read More

We study the power of quantum channels with little or no capacity for private communication. Because privacy is a necessary condition for quantum communication, one might expect that such channels would be of little use for transmitting quantum states. Nevertheless, we find strong evidence that there are pairs of such channels that, when used together, can transmit far more quantum information than the sum of their individual private capacities. Read More