Quantum leap: how to complete a quantum walk in a single step
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Quantum walks provide simple models of various fundamental processes. It is pivotal to know when the dynamics underlying a walk lead to quantum advantages just by examining its statistics. A walk with many indistinguishable particles and measurements of non-classical multi-particle correlations is likely to reveal the quantum nature. The number of elements $O(n)$ in a setup realizing walks grows with their length or spread $n$. We introduce the concept of a quantum leap, a process which can be achieved with fewer or complementary resources and which in a single step simulates another long process. The process and its leap are described by the same Hamiltonian but, the latter parametrizes the evolution with a tunable parameter of a setup. In the case of walks, a leap immediately gives a probability distribution which results only after many steps. This may be appealing for simulation of processes which are lengthy or require dynamical control. We discuss a leap based on the multi-particle Hong--Ou--Mandel interference, an inherently quantum phenomenon. It reproduces a quantum walk enabling perfect state transfer through spin chains. It requires a beam splitter, two detectors and $n$ particles to mimic a walk on a chain of size $O(n)$, for time fixed by beam-splitter's reflectivity. Our results apply to a broad class of systems where the HOM-like effects can be observed, and may constitute a new approach to simulation of complex Hamiltonians with passive interferometers.
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