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      Information complementarity: A new paradigm for decoding quantum incompatibility

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          Abstract

          The existence of observables that are incompatible or not jointly measurable is a characteristic feature of quantum mechanics, which lies at the root of a number of nonclassical phenomena, such as uncertainty relations, wave--particle dual behavior, Bell-inequality violation, and contextuality. However, no intuitive criterion is available for determining the compatibility of even two (generalized) observables, despite the overarching importance of this problem and intensive efforts of many researchers. Here we introduce an information theoretic paradigm together with an intuitive geometric picture for decoding incompatible observables, starting from two simple ideas: Every observable can only provide limited information and information is monotonic under data processing. By virtue of quantum estimation theory, we introduce a family of universal criteria for detecting incompatible observables and a natural measure of incompatibility, which are applicable to arbitrary number of arbitrary observables. Based on this framework, we derive a family of universal measurement uncertainty relations, provide a simple information theoretic explanation of quantitative wave--particle duality, and offer new perspectives for understanding Bell nonlocality, contextuality, and quantum precision limit.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Statistical distance and the geometry of quantum states

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            Monotone metrics on matrix spaces

             Denes Petz (1996)
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              Generalized uncertainty relations: Theory, examples, and Lorentz invariance

               ,  ,   (2009)
              The quantum-mechanical framework in which observables are associated with Hermitian operators is too narrow to discuss measurements of such important physical quantities as elapsed time or harmonic-oscillator phase. We introduce a broader framework that allows us to derive quantum-mechanical limits on the precision to which a parameter---e.g., elapsed time---may be determined via arbitrary data analysis of arbitrary measurements on \(N\) identically prepared quantum systems. The limits are expressed as generalized Mandelstam-Tamm uncertainty relations, which involve the operator that generates displacements of the parameter---e.g., the Hamiltonian operator in the case of elapsed time. This approach avoids entirely the problem of associating a Hermitian operator with the parameter. We illustrate the general formalism, first, with nonrelativistic uncertainty relations for spatial displacement and momentum, harmonic-oscillator phase and number of quanta, and time and energy and, second, with Lorentz-invariant uncertainty relations involving the displacement and Lorentz-rotation parameters of the Poincar\'e group.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2014-06-26
                2015-09-14
                Article
                10.1038/srep14317
                1406.6898

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                Sci. Rep. 5, 14317 (2015)
                13+5 pages, 2 figures, to appear in Scientific Reports
                quant-ph

                Quantum physics & Field theory

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