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Towards Observable Quantum Turing Machines: Fundamentals, Computational Power, and Universality
Simon Perdix

We study the observation of quantum Turing machines by allowing interactions between a quantum machine and its environment during the computation, whereas a quantum Turing machine — original model introduced by Deutsch — remains isolated.

We show that the introduction of observations leads to a weakening of the well formedness conditions of quantum Turing machines such that any (reversible or not) classical Turing machine is a special instance of a quantum machine. Moreover, observation of quantum Turing machines provides a formal solution to the halting process problem: the impossibility to know whether a given quantum Turing machine has actually reached its halting state. It also provides a more realistic abstract architecture of a quantum computer while most of the physical proposals of quantum computers are based on an hybrid classical-quantum architecture.

However, we show that a natural formalisation of an observable quantum Turing machines leads to an over-powerful model solving undecidable problems. As a consequence, we introduce a restricted version of observable quantum Turing machines and we show that, under this restriction, any observable quantum Turing machine can be efficiently simulated by a quantum Turing machine. Finally, we discuss the potential application of the observable quantum Turing machine in the quest of a universal quantum Turing machine while recent papers have pointed out that a classical control is a key feature of a universal quantum machine..

Keywords: Quantum Computing, Turing machine.

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