9 × 4 = 6 × 6: Understanding the quantum solution to Euler's problem of 36 officers
The famous combinatorial problem of Euler concerns an arrangement of 36 officers from six different regiments in a 6×6 square array. Each regiment consists of six officers each belonging to one of six ranks. The problem, originating from Saint Petersburg, requires that each row and each column of the array contains only one officer of a given rank and given regiment. Euler observed that such a configuration does not exist. In recent work, we constructed a solution to a quantum version of this problem assuming that the officers correspond to superpositions of quantum states. In this paper, we explain the solution which is based on a partition of 36 officers into nine groups, each with four elements. The corresponding quantum states are locally equivalent to maximally entangled two-qubit states, hence each quantum officer is represented by a superposition of at most 4 classical states. The entire quantum combinatorial design involves 9 Bell bases in nine complementary 4-dimensional subspaces.
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Zyczkowski, K, Bruzda, W, Rajchel-Mieldzioć, G, Burchardt, A, Rather, S.A, & Lakshminarayan, A. (2023). 9 × 4 = 6 × 6: Understanding the quantum solution to Euler's problem of 36 officers. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/2448/1/012003