Backward Evolving Quantum States Tel-Aviv In quant-ph 0606208, Vaidman outlines the theoretical limitations on possible manipulations of a backward-evolving quantum state. "The basic concept of the two-state vector formalism, which is the time symmetric approach to quantum mechanics, is the backward evolving quantum state. However, due to the asymmetry of the memory's arrow of time, the possible ways to manipulate a backward evolving quantum state differ from those for a standard, forward evolving quantum state. The similarities and the differences between forward and backward evolving quantum states regarding the no-cloning theorem, nonlocal measurements, and teleportation are discussed. The results are relevant not only in the framework of the two-state vector formalism, but also in the framework of retrodictive quantum theory."

Retrocausation: Experiment and Theory AAAS Causality – the notion that earlier events can affect later events but not vice-versa – undergirds our experience of reality and physical law. Causality is predicated on the forward unidirectionality of time. However, most physical laws are time symmetric; that is, they formally and equally admit both time-forward and time-reverse solutions. Time-reverse solutions are distressing because they would allow the future to influence the past, i.e., reverse causation. Why time-forward solutions are preferentially observed in nature remains an unresolved problem in physics. While the most convincing explanations invoke the second law of thermodynamics, wavefunction collapse or the expansion of the universe, in the end, purely forward causation is an ad-hoc physical assumption. This symposium will explore recent experiments, theory, and philosophical issues connected with reverse causation. In particular, it is hoped that this meeting will help: 1) generate better theoretical models by which established experimental results can be understood; 2) devise new experiments by which the underlying physics may be more clearly exposed; and 3) establish fruitful research collaborations.

Quantum Cosmology From Future to Past CERN, Cambridge In Phys Rev D and concurrent Physics Web overview, Hawking and Hertog apply Feynman's path integral formalism to quantum cosmology. "In this framework, amplitudes for alternative histories for the universe are calculated with final boundary conditions only. This leads to a top-down approach to cosmology, in which the histories of the universe depend on the precise question asked. We study the observational consequences of no boundary initial conditions on the landscape, and outline a scheme to test the theory."


Generation and control of Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger entanglement in superconducting circuits RIKEN In quant-ph 0510169, Wei, Liu, and Nori propose an efficient approach to generate and control quantum entanglement between three macroscopic coupled superconducting qubits. "By conditionally rotating, one by one, selected Josephson charge qubits, we show that their Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) entangled states can be deterministically generated. The possibility of using the prepared GHZ correlations to test the macroscopic conflict between the noncommutativity of quantum mechanics and the commutativity of classical physics is also discussed."

Coherent State Evolution in a Superconducting Qubit from Partial-Collapse Measurement UCSB Martinis et al, Science 312, 5779. "Measurement is one of the fundamental building blocks of quantum-information processing systems. Partial measurement, where full wavefunction collapse is not the only outcome, provides a detailed test of the measurement process. We introduce quantum-state tomography in a superconducting qubit that exhibits high-fidelity single-shot measurement. For the two probabilistic outcomes of partial measurement, we find either a full collapse or a coherent yet nonunitary evolution of the state. This latter behavior explicitly confirms modern quantum-measurement theory and may prove important for error-correction algorithms in quantum computation."

Flux qubit decoherence sources RIKEN, VTT, NEC In cond-mat 0606481, Yoshihara, Harrabi, Niskanen, Nakamura and Tsai investigate flux qubit decoherence sources, demonstrating an optimal bias condition at which noise sources are well decoupled and coherence time is primarily limited by energy relaxation of the qubit.