Demonstrations of quantum advantage have largely focused on computational speedups and on quantum simulation of many-body physics, limited by fidelity and the capability of current devices. Discriminating laser-pulse-modulated classical-communication code words at the minimum allowable probability of error using universal-quantum processing presents a promising parallel direction, one that is of both fundamental importance in quantum state discrimination and technological relevance in deep-space laser communications. Here we present an experimental realization of a quantum joint detection receiver for binary phase shift keying modulated code words of a 3-bit linear tree code using a recently proposed quantum algorithm: belief propagation with quantum messages. The receiver, translated to a quantum circuit, was experimentally implemented on a trapped-ion device - the recently released Honeywell LT-1.0 system using Yb+171 ions, which possesses all-to-all connectivity and midcircuit measurement capabilities that are essential to this demonstration. We conclusively realize a previously postulated but hitherto not demonstrated joint quantum detection scheme and provide an experimental framework that surpasses the quantum limit on the minimum average decoding error probability associated with pulse-by-pulse detection in the low-mean-photon-number limit. The full joint detection scheme bridges across photonic and trapped-ion-based quantum information science, mapping the photonic coherent states of the modulation alphabet onto inner product-preserving states of single-ion qubits. Looking ahead, our work opens new avenues in hybrid realizations of quantum-enhanced receivers with applications in astronomy and emerging space-based platforms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics