# Testing symmetry on quantum computers

Symmetry is a unifying concept in physics. In quantum information and beyond, it is known that quantum states possessing symmetry are not useful for certain information-processing tasks. For example, states that commute with a Hamiltonian realizing a time evolution are not useful for timekeeping during that evolution, and bipartite states that are highly extendible are not strongly entangled and thus not useful for basic tasks like teleportation. Motivated by this perspective, this paper details several quantum algorithms that test the symmetry of quantum states and channels. For the case of testing Bose symmetry of a state, we show that there is a simple and efficient quantum algorithm, while the tests for other kinds of symmetry rely on the aid of a quantum prover. We prove that the acceptance probability of each algorithm is equal to the maximum symmetric fidelity of the state being tested, thus giving a firm operational meaning to these latter resource quantifiers. Special cases of the algorithms test for incoherence or separability of quantum states. We evaluate the performance of these algorithms by using the variational approach to quantum algorithms, replacing the quantum prover with a variational circuit. We also show that the maximum symmetric fidelities can be calculated by semi-definite programs, which is useful for benchmarking the performance of the quantum algorithms for sufficiently small examples. Finally, we establish various generalizations of the resource theory of asymmetry, with the upshot being that the acceptance probabilities of the algorithms are resource monotones and thus well motivated from the resource-theoretic perspective.

READ FULL TEXT