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Section: New Results

Quantum information theory

Participants : André Chailloux, Anthony Leverrier, Denise Maurice, Jean-Pierre Tillich.

The field of Quantum Information and Computation aims at exploiting the laws of quantum physics to manipulate information in radically novel ways. Two main applications come to mind: quantum computers, that offer the promise of solving some problems intractable with classical computers (for instance, factorization); and quantum cryptography, which provides new ways to exchange data in a provably secure fashion.

The main obstacle towards the development of quantum computing is decoherence, a consequence of the interaction of the computer with a noisy environment. We investigate approaches to quantum error-correction as a way to fight against this effect, and we study more particularly some families of quantum error-correcting codes which generalize the best classical codes available today.

Our research also covers quantum cryptography where we study the security of efficient protocols for key distribution or coin flipping, in collaboration with experimental groups. More generally, we investigate how quantum theory severely constrains the action of honest and malicious parties in cryptographic scenarios.

Finally, a promising approach to better understand the possibilities of quantum information consists in studying quantum correlations via the notion of nonlocal games, where different parties need to coordinate to answer some questions, but without communicating. The goal here is to analyze the optimal strategies and to quantify the quantum advantage, i.e. how much sharing an entangled quantum state helps compared to sharing classical randomness.

Quantum codes

Protecting quantum information from external noise is an issue of paramount importance for building a quantum computer. It also worthwhile to notice that all quantum error-correcting code schemes proposed up to now suffer from the very same problem that the first (classical) error-correcting codes had: there are constructions of good quantum codes, but for the best of them it is not known how to decode them in polynomial time. Our approach for overcoming this problem has been to study whether or not the family of turbo-codes and LDPC codes (and the associated iterative decoding algorithms) have a quantum counterpart.

Recent results:

Quantum cryptography

A recent approach to cryptography takes into account that all interactions occur in a physical world described by the laws of quantum physics. These laws put severe constraints on what an adversary can achieve, and allow for instance to design provably secure key distribution protocols. We study such protocols as well as more general cryptographic primitives such as coin flipping with security properties based on quantum theory.

Recent results:

Quantum correlations and nonlocality

Since the seminal work from Bell in the 60's, it has been known that classical correlations obtained via shared randomness cannot reproduce all the correlations obtained by measuring entangled quantum systems. This impossibility is for instance witnessed by the violation of a Bell inequality and is known under the name of “Quantum Nonlocality”. In addition to its numerous applications for quantum cryptography, the study of quantum nonlocality and quantum games has become a central topic in quantum information theory, with the hope of bringing new insights to our understanding of quantum theory.

Recent results: