Michael J. W. Hall

Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (43)99.16 Total impact

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    Michael J. W. Hall, D. -A. Deckert, Howard M. Wiseman
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate whether quantum theory can be understood as the continuum limit of a mechanical theory, in which there is a huge, but finite, number of classical 'worlds', and quantum effects arise solely from a universal interaction between these worlds, without reference to any wave function. Here a `world' means an entire universe with well-defined properties, determined by the classical configuration of its particles and fields. In our approach each world evolves deterministically; probabilities arise due to ignorance as to which world a given observer occupies; and we argue that in the limit of infinitely many worlds the wave function can be recovered (as a secondary object) from the motion of these worlds. We introduce a simple model of such a 'many interacting worlds' approach and show that it can reproduce some generic quantum phenomena---such as Ehrenfest's theorem, wavepacket spreading, barrier tunneling and zero point energy---as a direct consequence of mutual repulsion between worlds. Finally, we perform numerical simulations using our approach. We demonstrate, first, that it can be used to calculate quantum ground states, and second, that it is capable of reproducing, at least qualitatively, the double-slit interference phenomenon.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce information-theoretic definitions for noise and disturbance in quantum measurements and prove a state-independent noise-disturbance tradeoff relation that these quantities have to satisfy in any conceivable setup. Contrary to previous approaches, the information-theoretic quantities we define are invariant under the relabelling of outcomes and allow for the possibility of using quantum or classical operations to "correct" for the disturbance. We also show how our bound implies strong tradeoff relations for mean square deviations.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2014; 112(5):050401. · 7.94 Impact Factor
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    Michael J W Hall, James D Cresser, Li Li, Erika Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: Master equations govern the time evolution of a quantum system interacting with an environment, and may be written in a variety of forms. Time-independent or memoryless master equations, in particular, can be cast in the well-known Lindblad form. Any time-local master equation, Markovian or non-Markovian, may in fact also be written in a Lindblad-like form. A diagonalisation procedure results in a unique, and in this sense canonical, representation of the equation, which may be used to fully characterize the non-Markovianity of the time evolution. Recently, several different measures of non-Markovianity have been presented which reflect, to varying degrees, the appearance of negative decoherence rates in the Lindblad-like form of the master equation. We therefore propose using the negative decoherence rates themselves, as they appear in the canonical form of the master equation, to completely characterize non-Markovianity. The advantages of this are especially apparent when more than one decoherence channel is present. We show that a measure proposed by Rivas et al. is a surprisingly simple function of the canonical decoherence rates, and give an example of a master equation that is non-Markovian for all times t > 0, but to which nearly all proposed measures are blind. We also give necessary and sufficient conditions for trace distance and volume measures to witness non-Markovianity, in terms of the Bloch damping matrix.
    arXiv. 02/2014;
  • Dominic W Berry, Michael J W Hall, Howard M Wiseman
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    ABSTRACT: The ultimate limits to estimating a fluctuating phase imposed on an optical beam can be found using the recently derived continuous quantum Cramér-Rao bound. For Gaussian stationary statistics, and a phase spectrum scaling asymptotically as ω^{-p} with p>1, the minimum mean-square error in any (single-time) phase estimate scales as N^{-2(p-1)/(p+1)}, where N is the photon flux. This gives the usual Heisenberg limit for a constant phase (as the limit p→∞) and provides a stochastic Heisenberg limit for fluctuating phases. For p=2 (Brownian motion), this limit can be attained by phase tracking.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2013; 111(11):113601. · 7.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complementarity restricts the accuracy with which incompatible quantum observables can be jointly measured. Despite popular conception, the Heisenberg uncertainty relation does not quantify this principle. We report the experimental verification of universally valid complementarity relations, including an improved relation derived here. We exploit Einstein-Poldolsky-Rosen correlations between two photonic qubits to jointly measure incompatible observables of one. The product of our measurement inaccuracies is low enough to violate the widely used, but not universally valid, Arthurs-Kelly relation.
    Physical Review Letters 05/2013; 110(22):220402. · 7.94 Impact Factor
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    Eric G. Cavalcanti, Michael J. W. Hall, Howard M. Wiseman
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    ABSTRACT: Various protocols exist by which a referee can be convinced that two observers share an entangled resource. Such protocols typically specify the types of communication allowed, and the degrees of trust required, between the referee and each observer. Here it is shown that the need for any degree of trust of the observers by the referee can be completely removed, allowing device independent verification of entanglement, via the referee using classical and quantum communication channels appropriately. In particular, trust-free verification of Bell nonlocality, EPR-steering, and entanglement, respectively, requires two classical channels, one classical and one quantum channel, and two quantum channels. These channels correspond to suitable inputs of quantum randomness by the referee, which prevent the observers from mimicking entanglement using shared classical randomness. Our results generalize recent work by F. Buscemi [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 108}, 200401 (2012)], and offer a perspective on the operational significance of that work. They also offer the possibility of simpler experimental demonstrations of the basic idea of quantum-refereed nonlocality tests.
    Physical Review A 10/2012; 87(3). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the advent of quantum information, the violation of a Bell inequality is used to witness the absence of an eavesdropper in cryptographic scenarios such as key distribution and randomness expansion. One of the key assumptions of Bell's theorem is the existence of experimental "free will," meaning that measurement settings can be chosen at random and independently by each party. The relaxation of this assumption potentially shifts the balance of power towards an eavesdropper. We consider a no-signaling model with reduced "free will" and bound the adversary’s capabilities in the task of randomness expansion.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2012; 109(16):160404. · 7.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ultimate bound to the accuracy of phase estimates is often assumed to be given by the Heisenberg limit. Recent work seemed to indicate that this bound can be violated, yielding measurements with much higher accuracy than was previously expected. The Heisenberg limit can be restored as a rigorous bound to the accuracy provided one considers the accuracy averaged over the possible values of the unknown phase, as we have recently shown [Phys. Rev. A 85, 041802(R) (2012)]. Here we present an expanded proof of this result together with a number of additional results, including the proof of a previously conjectured stronger bound in the asymptotic limit. Other measures of the accuracy are examined, as well as other restrictions on the generator of the phase shifts. We provide expanded numerical results for the minimum error and asymptotic expansions. The significance of the results claiming violation of the Heisenberg limit is assessed, followed by a detailed discussion of the limitations of the Cramer-Rao bound.
    Physical Review A 09/2012; 86(5). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Marcel Reginatto, Michael J. W. Hall
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    ABSTRACT: We consider a system with a discrete configuration space. We show that the geometrical structures associated with such a system provide the tools necessary for a reconstruction of discrete quantum mechanics once dynamics is brought into the picture. We do this in three steps. Our starting point is information geometry, the natural geometry of the space of probability distributions. Dynamics requires additional structure. To evolve the probabilities P^k, we introduce coordinates S^k canonically conjugate to the P^k and a symplectic structure. We then seek to extend the metric structure of information geometry, to define a geometry over the full space of the P^k and S^k. Consistency between the metric tensor and the symplectic form forces us to introduce a K\"ahler geometry. The construction has notable features. A complex structure is obtained in a natural way. The canonical coordinates of the K\"ahler space are precisely the wave functions of quantum mechanics. The full group of unitary transformations is obtained. Finally, one may associate a Hilbert space with the K\"ahler space, which leads to the standard version of quantum theory. We also show that the metric that we derive here using purely geometrical arguments is precisely the one that leads to Wootters' expression for the statistical distance for quantum systems.
    07/2012;
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    Michael J. W. Hall, Marcel Reginatto, C. M. Savage
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    ABSTRACT: When interactions are turned off, the theory of interacting quantum and classical ensembles due to Hall and Reginatto is shown to suffer from a nonlocal signaling effect that is effectively action at a distance. This limits the possible applicability of the theory. In its present form, it is restricted to those situations in which interactions are always on, such as classical gravity interacting with quantized matter.
    Physical Review A 07/2012; 86(5). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Michael J. W. Hall, David T. Pegg
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    ABSTRACT: A construction of covariant quantum phase observables, for Hamiltonians with a finite number of energy eigenvalues, has been recently given by D. Arsenovic et al. [Phys. Rev. A 85, 044103 (2012)]. For Hamiltonians generating periodic evolution, we show that this construction is just a simple rescaling of the known canonical 'time' or 'age' observable, with the period T rescaled to 2\pi. Further, for Hamiltonians generating quasiperiodic evolution, we note that the construction leads to a phase observable having several undesirable features, including (i) having a trivially uniform probability density for any state of the system, (ii) not reducing to the periodic case in an appropriate limit, and (iii) not having any clear generalisation to an infinite energy spectrum. In contrast, we note that a covariant time observable has been previously defined for such Hamiltonians, which avoids these features. We also show how this 'quasiperiodic' time observable can be represented as the well-defined limit of a sequence of periodic time observables.
    Physical Review A 06/2012; 86(5). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Michael J. W. Hall, Howard M. Wiseman
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    ABSTRACT: A number of authors have suggested that nonlinear interactions can enhance resolution of phase shifts beyond the usual Heisenberg scaling of 1/n, where n is a measure of resources such as the number of subsystems of the probe state or the mean photon number of the probe state. These suggestions are based on calculations of `local precision' for particular nonlinear schemes. However, we show that there is no simple connection between the local precision and the average estimation error for these schemes, leading to a scaling puzzle. This puzzle is partially resolved by a careful analysis of iterative implementations of the suggested nonlinear schemes. However, it is shown that the suggested nonlinear schemes are still limited to an exponential scaling in \sqrt{n}. (This scaling may be compared to the exponential scaling in n which is achievable if multiple passes are allowed, even for linear schemes.) The question of whether nonlinear schemes may have a scaling advantage in the presence of loss is left open. Our results are based on a new bound for average estimation error that depends on (i) an entropic measure of the degree to which the probe state can encode a reference phase value, called the G-asymmetry, and (ii) any prior information about the phase shift. This bound is asymptotically stronger than bounds based on the variance of the phase shift generator. The G-asymmetry is also shown to directly bound the average information gained per estimate. Our results hold for any prior distribution of the shift parameter, and generalise to estimates of any shift generated by an operator with discrete eigenvalues.
    Physical Review X. 05/2012; 2(4).
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    ABSTRACT: With the advent of quantum information, the violation of a Bell inequality is used as evidence of the absence of an eavesdropper in cryptographic scenarios such as key distribution and randomness expansion. One of the key assumptions of Bell's Theorem is the existence of experimental "free will", meaning that measurement settings can be chosen at random and independently by each party. The relaxation of this assumption potentially shifts the balance of power towards an eavesdropper. We consider a no-signalling model with reduced "free will" and bound the adversary's capabilities in the task of randomness expansion.
    02/2012;
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    Michael J. W. Hall, Howard M. Wiseman
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    ABSTRACT: A rigorous lower bound is obtained for the average resolution of any estimate of a shift parameter, such as an optical phase shift or a spatial translation. The bound has the asymptotic form k_I/<2|G|> where G is the generator of the shift (with an arbitrary discrete or continuous spectrum), and hence establishes a universally applicable bound of the same form as the usual Heisenberg limit. The scaling constant k_I depends on prior information about the shift parameter. For example, in phase sensing regimes, where the phase shift is confined to some small interval of length L, the relative resolution \delta\hat{\Phi}/L has the strict lower bound (2\pi e^3)^{-1/2}/<2m| G_1 |+1>, where m is the number of probes, each with generator G_1, and entangling joint measurements are permitted. Generalisations using other resource measures and including noise are briefly discussed. The results rely on the derivation of general entropic uncertainty relations for continuous observables, which are of interest in their own right.
    New Journal of Physics 01/2012; 14(3). · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Heisenberg limit traditionally provides a lower bound on the phase uncertainty scaling as 1/ , where is the mean number of photons in the probe. However, this limit has a number of loopholes which potentially might be exploited, to achieve measurements with even greater accuracy. Here we close these loopholes by proving a completely rigorous form of the Heisenberg limit for the average error over all phase shifts. Our result gives the first completely general, constraint-free and non-asymptotic statement of the Heisenberg limit. It holds for all phase estimation schemes, including multiple passes, nonlinear phase shifts, multimode probes, and arbitrary measurements.
    Physical Review A 11/2011; · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Alvin J. K. Chua, Michael J. W. Hall, C. M. Savage
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    ABSTRACT: We apply Hall and Reginatto's theory of interacting classical and quantum ensembles to harmonically coupled particles, with a view to understanding its experimental implications. This hybrid theory has no free parameters and makes distinctive predictions that should allow it to be experimentally distinguished from quantum mechanics. It also bears on the questions of quantum measurement and quantum gravity.
    Physical Review A 09/2011; 85(2). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Marcel Reginatto, Michael J. W. Hall
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    ABSTRACT: We consider the space of probabilities {P(x)}, where the x are coordinates of a configuration space. Under the action of the translation group there is a natural metric over the space of parameters of the group given by the Fisher-Rao metric. This metric induces a metric over the space of probabilities. Our next step is to set the probabilities in motion. To do this, we introduce a canonically conjugate field S and a symplectic structure; this gives us Hamiltonian equations of motion. We show that it is possible to extend the metric structure to the full space of the {P,S} and this leads in a natural way to a Kaehler structure; i.e., a geometry that includes compatible symplectic, metric and complex structures. The simplest geometry that describes these spaces of evolving probabilities has remarkable properties: the natural, canonical variables are precisely the wave functions of quantum mechanics; the Hamiltonian for the quantum free particle can be derived from a representation of the Galilean group using purely geometrical arguments; and it is straightforward to associate with this geometry a Hilbert space which turns out to be the Hilbert space of quantum mechanics. We are led in this way to a reconstruction of quantum theory based solely on the geometry of probabilities in motion.
    08/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: The transition from quantum to classical, in the case of a quantum harmonic oscillator, is typically identified with the transition from a quantum superposition of macroscopically distinguishable states, such as the Schr\"odinger cat state, into the corresponding statistical mixture. This transition is commonly characterized by the asymptotic loss of the interference term in the Wigner representation of the cat state. In this paper we show that the quantum to classical transition has different dynamical features depending on the measure for nonclassicality used. Measures based on an operatorial definition have well defined physical meaning and allow a deeper understanding of the quantum to classical transition. Our analysis shows that, for most nonclassicality measures, the Schr\"odinger cat dies after a finite time. Moreover, our results challenge the prevailing idea that more macroscopic states are more susceptible to decoherence in the sense that the transition from quantum to classical occurs faster. Since nonclassicality is prerequisite for entanglement generation our results also bridge the gap between decoherence, which appears to be only asymptotic, and entanglement, which may show a sudden death. In fact, whereas the loss of coherences still remains asymptotic, we have shown that the transition from quantum to classical can indeed occur at a finite time.
    Physical Review A 03/2011; 84(1). · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Michael J. W. Hall
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of various physically plausible properties, such as no signaling, determinism, and experimental free will, is known to be incompatible with quantum correlations. Hence, these properties must be individually or jointly relaxed in any model of such correlations. The necessary degrees of relaxation are quantified here, via natural distance and information-theoretic measures. This allows quantitative comparisons between different models in terms of the resources, such as the number of bits, of randomness, communication, and/or correlation, that they require. For example, measurement dependence is a relatively strong resource for modeling singlet state correlations, with only 1/15 of one bit of correlation required between measurement settings and the underlying variable. It is shown how various 'relaxed' Bell inequalities may be obtained, which precisely specify the complementary degrees of relaxation required to model any given violation of a standard Bell inequality. The robustness of a class of Kochen-Specker theorems, to relaxation of measurement independence, is also investigated. It is shown that a theorem of Mermin remains valid unless measurement independence is relaxed by 1/3. The Conway-Kochen 'free will' theorem and a result of Hardy are less robust, failing if measurement independence is relaxed by only 6.5% and 4.5%, respectively. An appendix shows the existence of an outcome independent model is equivalent to the existence of a deterministic model.
    Physical Review A 02/2011; 84. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Michael J W Hall
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    ABSTRACT: The derivation of Bell inequalities requires an assumption of measurement independence, related to the amount of free will experimenters have in choosing measurement settings. Violation of these inequalities by singlet state correlations brings this assumption into question. A simple measure of the degree of measurement independence is defined for correlation models, and it is shown that all spin correlations of a singlet state can be modeled via giving up just 14% of measurement independence. The underlying model is deterministic and no signaling. It may thus be favorably compared with other underlying models of the singlet state, which require maximum indeterminism or maximum signaling. A local deterministic model is also given that achieves the maximum possible violation of the well-known Bell-Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality, at a cost of only 1/3 of measurement independence.
    Physical Review Letters 12/2010; 105(25):250404. · 7.94 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

292 Citations
99.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Macquarie University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2011–2012
    • Griffith University
      • Centre for Quantum Dynamics
      Southport, Queensland, Australia
  • 1997–2011
    • Australian National University
      • Department of Theoretical Physics
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia