Quantum Information Processing in Multi-Spin Systems

Paola Cappellaro

Submitted to the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering on May 5, 2006,
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Science and Engineering


Coherence and entanglement in multi-spin systems are valuable resources for quantum information processing. In this thesis, I explore the manipulation of quantum information in complex multi-spin systems, with particular reference to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance implementations. In systems with a few spins, such as molecules in the liquid phase, the use of multi-spin coherent states provides a hedge against the noise, via the encoding of information in logical degrees of freedom distributed over several spins. Manipulating multi-spin coherent states also increases the complexity of quantum operations required in a quantum processor. Here I present schemes to mitigate this problem, both in the state initialization, with particular attention to bulk ensemble quantum information processing, and in the coherent control and gate implementations. In the many-body limit provided by nuclear spins in single crystals, the limitations in the available control increase the complexity of manipulating the system; also, the equations of motion are no longer exactly solvable even in the closed-system limit. Entanglement and multi-spin coherences are essential for extending the control and the accessible information on the system. I employ entanglement in a large ensemble of spins in order to obtain an amplification of the small perturbation created by a single spin on the spin ensemble, in a scheme for the measurement of a single nuclear spin state. I furthermore use multiple quantum coherences in mixed multi-spin states as a tool to explore many-body behavior of linear chain of spins, showing their ability to perform quantum information processing tasks such as simulations and transport of information. The theoretical and experimental results of this thesis suggest that although coherent multi-spin states are particularly fragile and complex to control they could make possible the execution of quantum information processing tasks that have no classical counterparts.
Thesis Supervisor: David G. Cory

Full Thesis in PDF (3MB)