Scott Aaronson, Alex Arkhipov

We give new evidence that quantum computers -- moreover, rudimentary quantum computers built entirely out of linear-optical elements -- cannot be efficiently simulated by classical computers. In particular, we define a

model of computation in which identical photons are generated, sent through a linear-optical network, then nonadaptively measured to count ...
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Scott Aaronson

One of the crown jewels of complexity theory is Valiant's 1979 theorem that computing the permanent of an n*n matrix is #P-hard. Here we show that, by using the model of linear-optical quantum computing---and in particular, a universality theorem due to Knill, Laflamme, and Milburn---one can give a different and ... more >>>

Sanjeev Arora, Arnab Bhattacharyya, Rajsekar Manokaran, Sushant Sachdeva

Suppose we are given an oracle that claims to approximate the permanent for most matrices $X$, where $X$ is chosen from the Gaussian ensemble (the matrix entries are i.i.d. univariate complex Gaussians). Can we test that the oracle satisfies this claim? This paper gives a polynomial-time algorithm for the task.

... more >>>Scott Aaronson, Travis Hance

Around 2002, Leonid Gurvits gave a striking randomized algorithm to approximate the permanent of an n×n matrix A. The algorithm runs in O(n^2/?^2) time, and approximates Per(A) to within ±?||A||^n additive error. A major advantage of Gurvits's algorithm is that it works for arbitrary matrices, not just for nonnegative matrices. ... more >>>

Scott Aaronson

BosonSampling, which we proposed three years ago, is a scheme for using linear-optical networks to solve sampling problems that appear to be intractable for a classical computer. In a recent manuscript, Gogolin et al. claimed that even an ideal BosonSampling device's output would be "operationally indistinguishable" from a uniform random ... more >>>

Adam Bouland, Scott Aaronson

In 1994, Reck et al. showed how to realize any linear-optical unitary transformation using a product of beamsplitters and phaseshifters. Here we show that any single beamsplitter that nontrivially mixes two modes, also densely generates the set of m by m unitary transformations (or orthogonal transformations, in the real case) ... more >>>

Daniel Grier, Luke Schaeffer

In 2011, Aaronson gave a striking proof, based on quantum linear optics, showing that the problem of computing the permanent of a matrix is #P-hard. Aaronson's proof led naturally to hardness of approximation results for the permanent, and it was arguably simpler than Valiant's seminal proof of the same fact ... more >>>