Quantum guessing game reveals insight into stronger-than-quantum correlations

June 22, 2010 By Lisa Zyga feature

(PhysOrg.com) -- In information processing, physicists are often in search of ways to turn classical strategies into quantum ones, with the implication that the quantum version is somehow stronger, faster, or more secure than its classical counterpart. However, quantum strategies do not always perform better than classical ones. As a case in point, a new study has compared the strength of classical and quantum correlations in a simple number guessing game and found no difference in performance. Further, the physicists found that a third form of correlations - post-quantum correlations - could outperform both quantum and classical forms.

In their study, Mafalda Almeida from the ICFO-Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques in Barcelona and coauthors found that classical and performed equally in a game called “Guess Your Neighbor’s Input.” The game involves a group of players in a ring who each receive an input number of either 0 or 1. The point of the game is that each player tries to guess the number of the person to their right. Of course, players are not allowed to know any information about their neighbor’s numbers before guessing, nor to communicate after having received their numbers. In order to win the game, players are allowed to share physical resources, such as classical or quantum correlations. Importantly, all these resources must be “no-signaling”; that is, they cannot enable instantaneous communication.

The no-signaling principle is fundamental for physicists dealing with the concept of nonlocality. In nonlocality, one object can influence another object at a distance, such as through . However, this phenomenon cannot be used to send information faster than light, which prevents a direct conflict with Einstein’s . Nonlocal correlations, which physicists define as those violating a , are important because they serve as a key resource for .

However, in the game in this study, the researchers found that players gained no advantage at guessing the correct numbers by using quantum resources compared to classical ones. This makes sense, since it seems that players should require signaling in order to improve their guessing accuracy, and neither quantum nor classical correlations involve signaling.

Yet when the physicists looked at what happened when the players use no-signaling correlations (that is, correlations that satisfy the no-signaling principle) that are even stronger than those allowed in quantum mechanics (i.e. they had a higher degree of violation of a Bell inequality), they did find a surprise. No-signaling correlations could actually outperform the quantum and classical correlations, suggesting that quantum correlations obey a stronger version of the no-signaling principle.

“Our study highlights a fundamental difference between quantum correlations and certain post-quantum correlations (that is, correlations stronger than those allowed in quantum mechanics, but which nevertheless obey the no-signaling principle),” Nicolas Brunner, coauthor and a physicist at the University of Bristol, told PhysOrg.com. “This is significant because it strongly indicates that quantum correlations could obey a stronger version of the no-signaling principle.”

This game is the first that involves entanglement among more than two bits (called “multipartite entanglement”) to identify some of the boundary (or gap) between quantum correlations and the stronger no-signaling correlations. However, the results also raise further questions, such as what kind of physical principle might limit quantum non-local correlations? Why do (theoretical) post-quantum correlations seem to not exist in nature? And if they did exist, could these correlations be used for other information tasks? Right now, these questions are likely a long way from being answered.

Explore further: Post-Quantum Correlations: Exploring the Limits of Quantum Nonlocality

More information: Mafalda L. Almeida, et al. “Guess Your Neighbor’s Input: A Multipartite Nonlocal Game with No Quantum Advantage.” Physical Review Letters 104, 230404 (2010). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.230404


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5 / 5 (1) Jun 22, 2010
'Classical correlations' should be rather called 'intuitive for us correlations' - created through reason-result relation chain from our big-bang, evolution, embryogenesis, development: working in past->future direction accordingly to four-dimensional entropy gradient created by our big bang..
But as we know we live in spacetime, physics four-dimensionally optimize action, these field theories we use on all scales (GRT,EM,Klein-Gordon,QFT) have some time(CPT) symmetry - spacetime is kind of '4D jello': saying that given point is affected only by its past is like saying that it's affected only by what is on its left..
It leads to that in models with limited knowledge what we work on (amplitude) denotes probability on one side of 'half-jello' - to translate it into probability of an incident, we have to 'square it' - like in QM and against Bell..
And what quantum computers can is mounting trajectories in both past and future: http://www.thesci...p=249393
not rated yet Jun 24, 2010
The first paragraph 'flumuxed' me .. maybe i should stick to bio/physio .. The first comment here seems to deal with a space-time different from my own ..

5 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2010
This picture of spacetime - that each point is in action optimizing equilibrium with its neighboring from all 4D directions like past and future (4D jello) is the essence of Lagrangian mechanics/(classical)field theories.
And for example classical electromagnetism gives Malus law - that while predicting probability for rotated polarizer, we should use 'the square of projection' like in QM.
Generally in given moment we can imagine division into past and future 'half-jello'- we work on (equal) probabilities on its ends (amplitudes), but to get probability of real incident, they both have to agree about it - we have 'to square' the amplitude.

So how does your spacetime look like?
To fulfill Bell inequalities (have not classical but 'intuitive' correlations) it would have to be kind of 'jello made of causality diodes' - but where it is in CPT conserving evolution equations?
Or maybe you believe in kind of many world interpretation - 'infinitely quickly branching tree (made of jello?)'?
5 / 5 (1) Jun 25, 2010
I read this article three times and still can't understand what the hell it's talking about. If someone can offer a translation into layman's terms, it would be greatly appreciated. Please don't further complicate the issue with 4D Jello.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2010
Phillip, there is no emperor's way into quantum mechanics. Search for QM video lectures, you'll get all the concepts explained in a reasonable time frame. This article is a joke, they didn't even bother getting terminology right: "involves entanglement among more than two bits" -- did they mean qubits or ebits?
not rated yet Jun 30, 2010
Yea, I've heard all that before. I've watched the videos. But if you can't explain it, you don't understand it. I'm not looking for some elitist judgment of my understanding, I'm looking for an explanation. If you can't explain it, leave it to someone who can.
not rated yet Jun 30, 2010
No, elitist comment was not my point. I implied that researchers usually present their results in 40 min talks, and still professionals who specialize in a different field might find it too hard to digest. Whereas here we have just a 3-paragraph drivel; the original is behind pay wall. In short, you'll get more satisfaction and joy reading, viewing, listening something else.

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