Martin Plesch

RNDr. Martin Plesch, Ph.D.

Project: PAQIT - Physical Aspects of Quantum Information Theory

Person in Charge: Prof. RNDr. Jozef Gruska, DrSc.

Host institution: Highly Parallel and Distributed Computing Systems, Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University

Country of Origin: Slovakia 

Country of scientific activity: Slovakia

Project duration: 24 months

Scientific panel: Physicist


Quantum theory, originally formulated in the first half of 20th century, is one of the basic pillars of modern physics. Over the last decades physicists and information scientists were attracted by the potential usage of quantum systems in the information processing. Within this project, we would like to foster the interdisciplinary cooperation within this area between the Institute of Physics, Slovak Academy of Sciences  in Bratislava on one side and the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University in Brno on the other side. During the two years research stay (from September 2010 till August 2012) I would like to gain and formulate new views on existing open problems in Quantum Information Theory from a common physical-information-scientific perspective, as well as find new interesting problems and contribute to their solutions. Focus will be given to quantum algorithms and their optimization, role of errors, noise and decoherence and possible ways of defeating them in experiments. Joint publications, as well as long lasting cooperation shall be the main outcomes of the project. Also the continuation of common organization on the conference CEQIP, which takes place every spring in one of the Czech (mostly South Moravian) historic cities, will have a direct impact into the further development of the region. During my stay, I plan to take part in the teaching process at the University by offering lectures and seminars on QIT for Bachelor and Master students, as well as tutoring of Master and PhD. students. In cooperation with the Faculty of Science MU and Prof. Tomáš Tyc, shall take part on popularizing activities. In particular, I would like to enhance to interest of high schools in South Moravian Region into the Young Physicists’ Tournament and introduce International Junior Science Olympiad into elementary schools in the region and the whole Czech Republic.

The ongoing project summary:

The project Physical aspects of Quantum Information Theory is oriented on finding new perspectives on Quantum Information Processing by utilizing both Physical and Information Theoretical point of view.  During the first year of the project, several topics were investigated and some successful results already obtained.
The first topic was a continuation of research performed in cooperation with the group of Prof. Brukner in Vienna, aimed on finding efficient ways for preparation of quantum states. Results were finalized during the last months of 2010 and accepted for publication in Physical Review A in early 2011 – the paper appear in spring.
A brand new topic, connected to purification of entanglement, was opened in cooperation with Dr. Huber from Vienna University during the QIP conference in January 2011. First results, leading to a very efficient way of purifying entanglement in multi-partite scenarios were accepted to Physical Review A in spring 2011 and appeared soon afterwards. Further investigation is being performed in this field currently and we expect to get further material for publication in future months.
Since October 2010 we have been working within the group in Brno on improvements of Hadamard extractors. Results were obtained and submitted repeatedly in winter and spring 2011, but the response time of IT journals seems to be much longer than in usual physical journals.
Within our group we have also acquired interesting results by using quantum channels to enhance the security of bipartite communications, if communicating parties have access only to imperfect (biased) random numbers. Results for one-qubit channel are submitted for publication and work is being performed on the topic of many-qubit channels.
To summarize, two papers were published in CC listed reviewed journal and two other are under review – one of them will appear in Los Alamos arXive soon. Results were presented as posters on two international conferences QIP 2011 and CEQIP 2011 and on the Non-Local seminar. I was lecturing on Quantum Seminar and Hot Topics of Quantum Information Processing, seminars for students and researchers of the Faculty of Informatics, and I was also invited to provide a lecture on the Colloquium, a series of lectures intended for the whole faculty.
Two research projects were prepared during the first year of the project. A general research project was submitted to GAČR agency, which shall, if successful, help to finance activities of the group for four years since 2012. An international cooperation project with Slovak Republic for years 2012 and 2013 was also submitted in summer. In both cases, I was partially preparing the project and will be a member of the team, if the project is approved. 
A number of popularization activities was also performed during the first year of the project. According to the workplan, there were aimed to fulfill three main goals: International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT, high school students), International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO, elementary school pupils) and activities for general public.
For students interested in IYPT there was a seminar organized in winter at the Faculty of Natural Sciences MUNI, where students and teachers attended my presentation about the competition itself and about the tasks. Five high schools took part and three promised to form a team for the competition. Finally only one team has been formed (which is usual, as the preparation for the competition is much more demanding than can be expected). This team was invited as a guest team for the regional round of the competition in Bratislava and took also part in the competition in Czech Republic. Due to different time periods in which the IJSO competition is organized (in September the national team has to be formed), it was not possible to perform many activities during the first years. However, Czech Republic could be successfully registered as a participating country for IJSO 2011, which will be held in Durban, RSA in December. An exception was given in this case, as according to the regulation Czech Republic should have been represented by an observer a year or two before. A call for interested students was also prepared and all main activities will be performed in September, aiming to form a Czech national team taking part on the competition.
During the second year of the project, the plan is to continue in the implementation according to the workplan. The only substantial change is a planned visit of a quantum group at the Oxford University for eight weeks in the beginning of 2012 – this change is subject of a special amendment procedure.
Together with Dr. Bouda and MSc. Pivoluska we will continue in the research on the topic of using quantum channels for classical private communication. The results for more-qubit channels shall be finalized within a few months and submitted for publication. Together with a new postodoc Dr. Wilmott we shall focus on influence of imperfect randomness on different quantum protocols.
With the group of Prof. Brukner we work on a question whether so called coarse-grained operations (quantum evolutions performed only with an arbitrary precision), together with coarse-grained measurements (measurements performed only with a limited precision) could help to explain the fact, why we do not observe quantum phenomena in our everyday life. With Dr. Huber from Vienna we shall work further on the topic of purification of multipartite entanglement.
Mid September 2011 I will take part on the QCRYPT 2011 conference with a poster. I will co-organize the CEQIP 2012 conference, which will be held for the first time outside Moravian region – in Smolenice, a castle in western part of Slovakia.
I will continue in lecturing on both mentioned seminars, on the top of it in the winter semester I also will take over a full lecture on Quantum theory of IT scientist after my colleague Prof. Ziman, who left for a years’ stay abroad.
During September, most of activities connected with the IJSO competition will be performed. The competition will be advertised via different means (Masaryk University, city of Brno, press conference etc.). Students for the international team will be selected from the interested ones according to their achievements in other competitions, especially the competition Giraffe. On 17th of September I will take part on the Science festival by performing different interesting physical experiments in the city center.
By the end of October, high school students interested in the YPT tournament will be invited to take part on the preparatory seminar. I will provide help for teams interested in taking part on the competition and they will possibly be invited as guest teams for regional round in Slovakia, too.

To summarize, the Deliverables planned for the first year of the projects were fulfilled and overdrawn. Two papers were accepted and published in CC listed journals; other two are submitted for review. I took part on two international conferences with a poster and on an international meeting – Non-local seminar with a presentation. Two projects, one of them international, were submitted. I provided several lectures on the faculty. Several popularization activities were also performed.