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Simulating arbitrary Gaussian circuits with linear optics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Levon Chakhmakhchyan
  • Nicolas J. Cerf
Original languageEnglish
Article number062314
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Early online date10 Dec 2018
DateSubmitted - 30 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Apr 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2018
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2018


Linear canonical transformations of bosonic modes correspond to Gaussian unitaries, which comprise passive linear-optical transformations as effected by a multiport passive interferometer and active Bogoliubov transformations as effected by a nonlinear amplification medium. As a consequence of the Bloch-Messiah theorem, any Gaussian unitary can be decomposed into a passive interferometer followed by a layer of single-mode squeezers and another passive interferometer. Here, it is shown how to circumvent the need for active transformations. Namely, we provide a technique to simulate sampling from the joint input and output distributions of any Gaussian circuit with passive interferometry only, provided two-mode squeezed vacuum states are available as a prior resource. At the heart of the procedure, we exploit the fact that a beam splitter under partial time reversal simulates a two-mode squeezer, which gives access to an arbitrary Gaussian circuit without any nonlinear optical medium. This yields, in particular, a procedure for simulating with linear optics an extended boson sampling experiment, where photons jointly propagate through an arbitrary multimode Gaussian circuit, followed by the detection of output photon patterns.

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