Classical simulability of noisy boson sampling

Jelmer J Renema, Valery Shchesnovich, Raul Garcia-Patron

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Quantum mechanics promises computational powers beyond the reach of classical computers. Current technology is on the brink of an experimental demonstration of the superior power of quantum computation compared to classical devices. For such a demonstration to be meaningful, experimental noise must not affect the computational power of the device; this occurs when a classical algorithm can use the noise to simulate the quantum system.

In this work, we demonstrate an algorithm which simulates boson sampling, a quantum advantage demonstration based on many-body quantum interference of indistinguishable bosons, in the presence of optical loss. Finding the level of noise where this approximation becomes efficient lets us map out the maximum level of imperfections at which it is still possible to demonstrate a quantum advantage. We show that current photonic technology falls short of this benchmark. These results call into question the suitability of boson sampling as a quantum advantage demonstration.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


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