In their paper, published this week in Nature Physics, Dr Fernando Brandão (UCL Computer Science) and Dr Michał Horodecki (Institute for Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, University of Gdansk) demonstrate when the correlation between particles in a sample reduces exponentially with distance, the entanglement between one region and the rest of the sample only depends on the area of the boundary between them.
Characterising entangled states is essential for technologies such as quantum computation, quantum communication and quantum cryptography. Entanglement is also the difficulty behind making computer simulations of quantum systems. This finding shows that a large class of quantum systems (those with exponential decay of correlations) has only limited entanglement and so can be simulated easily.
The relationship between area and entanglement was suspected by researchers in this field based on the intuitive argument that if the correlation between particles in a system dropped off rapidly with distance, only nearby particles would be entangled with each other. Therefore, particles far away from a boundary would not participate in entanglement and only the boundary area would be relevant.
However, this tempting idea was undermined by the existence of a counterexample. This seemed to show that even when two regions could be separated by a layer wide enough to cut off nearly all correlation between them, observers would not be able to know as much about each region as they would if they were genuinely isolated. This 'data hiding' phenomenon is a key characteristic of entangled states, where a lack of knowledge of one partner affects what can be measured of the other.
This work resolves the apparent difficulty by combining recent findings from quantum information theory, originally developed for analyzing quantum communication protocols, showing that data hiding cannot hold once exponential decaying correlations are found in all different regions of the system.
Dr Brandão says: "We're very excited to have produced this method. It proves something that seemed to be intuitively true, but the reason why it is true has turned out to be quite different from the original intuition. The result also helps us identify cases where there is low entanglement. These are often good candidates for simulation using classical computers not capable of modeling the consequences of quantum phenomena."
Dr Horodecki says: "What I especially like about our result, is that, perhaps for the first time in this domain, we used solely information-theoretic techniques without assuming any specific physical properties of the system other than exponential decaying correlations. This makes the result very general."
Notes to editors:
The work is published on the Nature Physics website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2747
Contacts:Dr Fernando Brandao
We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by our performance in a range of international rankings and tables. According to the Thomson Scientific Citation Index, UCL is the second most highly cited European university and the 15th most highly cited in the world.
UCL has nearly 27,000 students from 150 countries and more than 9,000 employees, of whom one third are from outside the UK. The university is based in Bloomsbury in the heart of London, but also has two international campuses – UCL Australia and UCL Qatar. Our annual income is more than £800 million.
David Weston | EurekAlert!
NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
17.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
16.11.2017 | University of California - Santa Cruz
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses