ICE1 2014 Workshop “Información Cuántca en España-1” - Zaragoza, 2014

Implications of computer science principles for quantum physics

Ariel Bendersky

Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas

One of the main pillars of computer science is the Church-Turing thesis, which postulates that every classical system is equivalent, in terms of computability power, to the so-called Turing machine. The implications of this hypothesis in other scientific fields, however, have hardly been explored. This is nonetheless a very natural scenario since experimental setups are always controlled by computers or other equivalent classical systems. In this talk I will show that, in the context of quantum physics, computer science laws have surprising implications for some of the most fundamental results of the theory. In particular, I will show situations in which ensembles of quantum states defining the same mixed state, indistinguishable according to the quantum postulates, do become distinguishable when prepared by a computer or, more generally, any device equivalent to a Turing machine.