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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 14;101(20):200501. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Experimental quantum computing without entanglement.

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Department of Physics and Centre for Quantum Computer Technology, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.


Deterministic quantum computation with one pure qubit (DQC1) is an efficient model of computation that uses highly mixed states. Unlike pure-state models, its power is not derived from the generation of a large amount of entanglement. Instead it has been proposed that other nonclassical correlations are responsible for the computational speedup, and that these can be captured by the quantum discord. In this Letter we implement DQC1 in an all-optical architecture, and experimentally observe the generated correlations. We find no entanglement, but large amounts of quantum discord-except in three cases where an efficient classical simulation is always possible. Our results show that even fully separable, highly mixed, states can contain intrinsically quantum mechanical correlations and that these could offer a valuable resource for quantum information technologies.

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