Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium

Testing Quantum Systems
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Hewlett 201
Umesh Vazirani (UC Berkeley)
Abstract / Description: 

The testing of quantum devices poses unique new challenges: although the description of the quantum state of a system scales exponentially in the size of the system, the laws of quantum mechanics limit the information that can be accessed by measuring the system to be linear in its size. This restriction, together with the mismatch in the computational power of quantum and classical systems appear to rule out any general strategy for the classical testing of quantum devices.

Nevertheless, over the past few years there has emerged a new theory of quantum testing that exploits unique features of quantum mechanics to get around these obstacles. This theory has resulted in provably secure quantum cryptography with untrusted quantum devices and certifiable random number generators. It has also resulted in protocols for testing that a claimed quantum computer is truly quantum. On a more philosophical level, these new protocols shed new light on what it might mean to test quantum mechanics in certain regimes.


Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 201.

Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Spring 2015/2016, Committee: M. Schleier-Smith (Chair), G. Gratta, B. Lev, S. Zhang