Quantum tomography using state-preparation unitaries

by   Joran van Apeldoorn, et al.

We describe algorithms to obtain an approximate classical description of a d-dimensional quantum state when given access to a unitary (and its inverse) that prepares it. For pure states we characterize the query complexity for ℓ_q-norm error up to logarithmic factors. As a special case, we show that it takes Θ(d/ε) applications of the unitaries to obtain an ε-ℓ_2-approximation of the state. For mixed states we consider a similar model, where the unitary prepares a purification of the state. In this model we give an efficient algorithm for obtaining Schatten q-norm estimates of a rank-r mixed state, giving query upper bounds that are close to optimal. In particular, we show that a trace-norm (q=1) estimate can be obtained with 𝒪(dr/ε) queries. This improves (assuming our stronger input model) the ε-dependence over the algorithm of Haah et al. (2017) that uses a joint measurement on 𝒪(dr/ε^2) copies of the state. To our knowledge, the most sample-efficient results for pure-state tomography come from setting the rank to 1 in generic mixed-state tomography algorithms, which can be computationally demanding. We describe sample-optimal algorithms for pure states that are easy and fast to implement. Along the way we show that an ℓ_∞-norm estimate of a normalized vector induces a (slightly worse) ℓ_q-norm estimate for that vector, without losing a dimension-dependent factor in the precision. We also develop an unbiased and symmetric version of phase estimation, where the probability distribution of the estimate is centered around the true value. Finally, we give an efficient method for estimating multiple expectation values, improving over the recent result by Huggins et al. (2021) when the measurement operators do not fully overlap.


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