Complete characterization of states and processes that occur within quantum devices is crucial for understanding and testing their potential to outperform classical technologies for communications and computing. However, solving this task with current state-of-the-art techniques becomes unwieldy for large and complex quantum systems. Here we realize and experimentally demonstrate a method for complete characterization of a quantum harmonic oscillator based on an artificial neural network known as the restricted Boltzmann machine. We apply the method to optical homodyne tomography and show it to allow full estimation of quantum states based on a smaller amount of experimental data compared to state-of-the-art methods. We link this advantage to reduced overfitting. Although our experiment is in the optical domain, our method provides a way of exploring quantum resources in a broad class of large-scale physical systems, such as superconducting circuits, atomic and molecular ensembles, and optomechanical systems.
Decoherence is a fundamental obstacle to the implementation of large-scale and low-noise quantum information-processing devices. We suggest an approach for suppressing errors by employing preprocessing and postprocessing unitary operations, which precede and follow the action of a decoherence channel. In contrast to quantum error correction and measurement-based methods, the suggested approach relies on specifically designed unitary operators for a particular state without the need in ancillary qubits or postselection procedures. We consider the case of decoherence channels acting on a single qubit belonging to a many-qubit state. Preprocessing and postprocessing operators can be either individual, which is acting on the qubit effected by the decoherence channel only, or collective, which is acting on the whole multiqubit state. We give a classification of possible strategies for the protection scheme, analyze them, and derive expressions for the optimal unitary operators providing the maximal value of the fidelity regarding initial and final states. Specifically, we demonstrate the equivalence of the schemes where one of the unitary operations is individual while the other is collective. We then consider the realization of our approach for the basic decoherence models, which include single-qubit depolarizing, dephasing, and amplitude damping channels. We also demonstrate that the decoherence robustness of multiqubit states for these decoherence models is determined by the entropy of the reduced state of the qubit undergoing the decoherence channel.
Quantum tomography is a widely applicable tool for complete characterization of quantum states and processes. We develop a method for precision-guaranteed quantum process tomography. With the use of the Choi–Jamiołkowski isomorphism, we generalize the recently suggested extended norm minimization estimator for the case of quantum processes. Our estimator is based on the Hilbert–Schmidt distance for quantum processes. Specifically, we discuss the application of our method for characterizing quantum gates of a superconducting quantum processor in the framework of the IBM Q Experience.