The recent development of general quantum resource theories has given a sound basis for the quantification of useful quantum effects. Nevertheless, the evaluation of a resource measure can be highly non-trivial, involving an optimisation that is often intractable analytically or intensive numerically. In this paper, we describe a general framework that provides quantitative lower bounds to any resource quantifier that satisfies the essential property of monotonicity under the corresponding set of free operations. Our framework relies on projecting all quantum states onto a restricted subset using a fixed resource non-increasing operation. The resources of the resultant family can then be evaluated using a simplified optimisation, with the result providing lower bounds on the resource contents of any state. This approach also reduces the experimental overhead, requiring only the relevant statistics of the restricted family of states. We illustrate the application of our framework by focussing on the resource of multiqubit entanglement.
We introduce an infinite family of quantifiers of quantum correlations beyond entanglement which vanish on both classical-quantum and quantum-classical states and are in one-to-one correspondence with the quantum Fisher informations. More specifically, these quantifiers are defined as the maximum local quantum covariances over pairs of local observables with the same fixed equispaced spectrum. We show that these quantifiers are entanglement monotones when restricted to pure states of qubit-qudit systems. We also analytically evaluate these quantifiers for two-qubit systems and discuss their behaviour under local commutativity preserving channels. We finally provide a physical interpretation for the quantifier corresponding to the average of the Wigner-Yanase-Dyson informations.
Quantum systems may exist in a coherent superposition of "classical" orthogonal states, which is one of the fundamental departures of quantum mechanics from the classical setting. Measuring the amount of genuine multilevel coherence -- which considers the number of superposed classical states required to describe a quantum system -- is essential for gauging nonclassicality and its quantitative role in the performance of quantum technologies. Here, we introduce the robustness of multilevel coherence, a measure which we show to be efficient to compute numerically and accessible experimentally. We witness the robustness of multilevel coherence by performing a quasi-device-independent phase discrimination task, which is implemented with four-dimensional quantum probes in a photonic setup. Our results contribute to understanding the operational relevance of quantum resources by identifying genuine multilevel coherence as the key ingredient for enhanced phase discrimination, and suggest ways to reliably and effectively test the quantum behaviour of physical systems.
We consider a two-level open quantum system undergoing either pure dephasing, dissipative, or multiply decohering dynamics and show that, whenever the dynamics is non-Markovian, the initial speed of evolution is a monotonic function of the relevant physical parameter driving the transition between the Markovian and non-Markovian behaviour of the dynamics. In particular, within the considered models, a speed increase can only be observed in the presence of backflow of information from the environment to the system.
Characterizing genuine quantum resources and determining operational rules for their manipulation are crucial steps to appraise possibilities and limitations of quantum technologies. Two such key resources are nonclassicality, manifested as quantum superposition between reference states of a single system, and entanglement, capturing quantum correlations among two or more subsystems. Here we present a general formalism for the conversion of nonclassicality into multipartite entanglement, showing that a faithful reversible transformation between the two resources is always possible within a precise resource-theoretic framework. Specializing to quantum coherence between the levels of a quantum system as an instance of nonclassicality, we introduce explicit protocols for such a mapping. We further show that the conversion relates multilevel coherence and multipartite entanglement not only qualitatively, but also quantitatively, restricting the amount of entanglement achievable in the process and in particular yielding an equality between the two resources when quantified by fidelity-based geometric measures.
In this didactic article we explore the concept of quantum correlations beyond entanglement. We begin by introducing and motivating the classically correlated states and then showing how to quantify the quantum correlations using an entropic approach, arriving at a well known measure called the quantum discord. Quantum correlations and discord are then operationally linked with the task of local broadcasting. We conclude by providing some alternative perspectives on quantum correlations and how to measure them.
Quantum information theory is built upon the realisation that quantum resources like coherence and entanglement can be exploited for novel or enhanced ways of transmitting and manipulating information, such as quantum cryptography, teleportation, and quantum computing. We now know that there is potentially much more than entanglement behind the power of quantum information processing. There exist more general forms of non-classical correlations, stemming from fundamental principles such as the necessary disturbance induced by a local measurement, or the persistence of quantum coherence in all possible local bases. These signatures can be identified and are resilient in almost all quantum states, and have been linked to the enhanced performance of certain quantum protocols over classical ones in noisy conditions. Their presence represents, among other things, one of the most essential manifestations of quantumness in cooperative systems, from the subatomic to the macroscopic domain. In this work we give an overview of the current quest for a proper understanding and characterisation of the frontier between classical and quantum correlations in composite states. We focus on various approaches to define and quantify general quantum correlations, based on different yet interlinked physical perspectives, and comment on the operational significance of the ensuing measures for quantum technology tasks such as information encoding, distribution, discrimination and metrology. We then provide a broader outlook of a few applications in which quantumness beyond entanglement looks fit to play a key role.
We analyse the nature of spontaneous symmetry breaking in complex quantum systems by investigating the long-standing conjecture that the maximally symmetry-breaking quantum ground states are the most classical ones corresponding to a globally ordered phase. We make this argument quantitatively precise by comparing different local and global indicators of classicality and quantumness, respectively in symmetry-breaking and symmetry-preserving quantum ground states. We first discuss how naively comparing local, pairwise entanglement and discord apparently leads to the opposite conclusion. Indeed, we show that in symmetry-preserving ground states the two-body entanglement captures only a modest portion of the total two-body quantum correlations, while, on the contrary, in maximally symmetry-breaking ground states it contributes the largest amount to the total two-body quantum correlations. We then put to test the conjecture by looking at the global, macroscopic correlation properties of quantum ground states. We prove that the ground states which realize the maximum breaking of the Hamiltonian symmetries, associated to a globally ordered phase, are the only ones that: I) are always locally convertible, i.e. can be obtained from all other ground states by only applying LOCC transformations (local operations and classical communication), while the reverse is never possible; II) minimize the monogamy inequality on the globally shared, macroscopic bipartite entanglement.
Quantifying coherence is an essential endeavour for both quantum foundations and quantum technologies. Here the robustness of coherence is defined and proven a full monotone in the context of the recently introduced resource theories of quantum coherence. The measure is shown to be observable, as it can be recast as the expectation value of a coherence witness operator for any quantum state. The robustness of coherence is evaluated analytically on relevant classes of states, and an efficient semidefinite program that computes it on general states is given. An operational interpretation is finally provided: the robustness of coherence quantifies the advantage enabled by a quantum state in a phase-discrimination task.
Quantum states may exhibit asymmetry with respect to the action of a given group. Such an asymmetry of states can be considered as a resource in applications such as quantum metrology, and it is a concept that encompasses quantum coherence as a special case. We introduce explicitly and study the robustness of asymmetry, a quantifier of asymmetry of states that we prove to have many attractive properties, including efficient numerical computability via semidefinite programming, and an operational interpretation in a channel discrimination context. We also introduce the notion of asymmetry witnesses, whose measurement in a laboratory detects the presence of asymmetry. We prove that properly constrained asymmetry witnesses provide lower bounds to the robustness of asymmetry, which is shown to be a directly measurable quantity itself. We then focus our attention on coherence witnesses and the robustness of coherence, for which we prove a number of additional results; these include an analysis of its specific relevance in phase discrimination and quantum metrology, an analytical calculation of its value for a relevant class of quantum states, and tight bounds that relate it to another previously defined coherence monotone.
The ability to live in coherent superpositions is a signature trait of quantum systems and constitutes an irreplaceable resource for quantum-enhanced technologies. However, decoherence effects usually destroy quantum superpositions. It has been recently predicted that, in a composite quantum system exposed to dephasing noise, quantum coherence in a transversal reference basis can stay protected for indefinite time. This can occur for a class of quantum states independently of the measure used to quantify coherence, and requires no control on the system during the dynamics. Here, such an invariant coherence phenomenon is observed experimentally in two different setups based on nuclear magnetic resonance at room temperature, realising an effective quantum simulator of two- and four-qubit spin systems. Our study further reveals a novel interplay between coherence and various forms of correlations, and highlights the natural resilience of quantum effects in complex systems.
The attempt to gain a theoretical understanding of the concept of time in quantum mechanics has triggered significant progress towards the search for faster and more efficient quantum technologies. One of such advances consists in the interpretation of the time-energy uncertainty relations as lower bounds for the minimal evolution time between two distinguishable states of a quantum system, also known as quantum speed limits. We investigate how the non uniqueness of a bona fide measure of distinguishability defined on the quantum state space affects the quantum speed limits and can be exploited in order to derive improved bounds. Specifically, we establish an infinite family of quantum speed limits valid for unitary and nonunitary evolutions, based on an elegant information geometric formalism. Our work unifies and generalizes existing results on quantum speed limits, and provides instances of novel bounds which are tighter than any established one based on the conventional quantum Fisher information. We illustrate our findings with relevant examples, demonstrating the importance of choosing different information metrics for open system dynamics, as well as clarifying the roles of classical populations versus quantum coherences, in the determination and saturation of the speed limits. Our results can find applications in the optimization and control of quantum technologies such as quantum computation and metrology, and might provide new insights in fundamental investigations of quantum thermodynamics.
Entanglement is a key ingredient for quantum technologies and a fundamental signature of quantumness in a broad range of phenomena encompassing many-body physics, thermodynamics, cosmology, and life sciences. For arbitrary multiparticle systems, entanglement quantification typically involves nontrivial optimisation problems, and may require demanding tomographical techniques. Here we develop an experimentally feasible approach to the evaluation of geometric measures of multiparticle entanglement. Our approach provides analytical results for particular classes of mixed states of N qubits, and computable lower bounds to global, partial, or genuine multiparticle entanglement of any general state. For global and partial entanglement, useful bounds are obtained with minimum effort, requiring local measurements in just three settings for any N. For genuine entanglement, a number of measurements scaling linearly with N is required. We demonstrate the power of our approach to estimate and quantify different types of multiparticle entanglement in a variety of N-qubit states useful for quantum information processing and recently engineered in laboratories with quantum optics and trapped ion setups.
We analyse under which dynamical conditions the coherence of an open quantum system is totally unaffected by noise. For a single qubit, specific measures of coherence are found to freeze under different conditions, with no general agreement between them. Conversely, for an N-qubit system with even N, we identify universal conditions in terms of initial states and local incoherent channels such that all bona fide distance-based coherence monotones are left invariant during the entire evolution. This finding also provides an insightful physical interpretation for the freezing phenomenon of quantum correlations beyond entanglement. We further obtain analytical results for distance-based measures of coherence in two-qubit states with maximally mixed marginals.
Local unitary operations allow for a unifying approach to the quantification of quantum correlations among the constituents of a bipartite quantum system. For pure states, the distance between a given state and its image under least-perturbing local unitary operations is a bona fide measure of quantum entanglement, the so-called entanglement of response, which can be extended to mixed states via the convex roof construction. On the other hand, when defined directly on mixed states perturbed by local unitary operations, such a distance turns out to be a bona fide measure of quantum correlations, the so-called discord of response. Exploiting this unified framework, we perform a detailed comparison between two-body entanglement and two-body quantum discord in infinite XY quantum spin chains both in symmetry-preserving and symmetry-breaking ground states as well as in thermal states at finite temperature. The results of the investigation show that in symmetry-preserving ground states the two-point quantum discord dominates over the two-point entanglement, while in symmetrybreaking ground states the two-point quantum discord is strongly suppressed and the two-point entanglement is essentially unchanged. In thermal states, for certain regimes of Hamiltonian parameters, we show that the pairwise quantum discord and the pairwise entanglement can increase with increasing thermal fluctuations.
Quantum correlations in a composite system can be measured by resorting to a geometric approach, according to which the distance from the state of the system to a suitable set of classically correlated states is considered. Here we show that all distance functions, which respect natural assumptions of invariance under transposition, convexity, and contractivity under quantum channels, give rise to geometric quantifiers of quantum correlations which exhibit the peculiar freezing phenomenon, i.e., remain constant during the evolution of a paradigmatic class of states of two qubits each independently interacting with a non-dissipative decohering environment. Our results demonstrate from first principles that freezing of geometric quantum correlations is independent of the adopted distance and therefore universal. This finding paves the way to a deeper physical interpretation and future practical exploitation of the phenomenon for noisy quantum technologies.
We investigate the nature of spontaneous symmetry breaking in complex quantum systems by conjecturing that the maximally symmetry breaking quantum ground states are the most classical ones corresponding to an ordered phase. We make this argument quantitatively precise by showing that the ground states which realize the maximum breaking of the Hamiltonian symmetries are the only ones that: I) are always locally convertible, i.e. can be obtained from all other ground states by local operations and classical communication, while the reverse is never possible; II) minimize the monogamy inequality for bipartite entanglement; III) minimize quantum correlations, as measured by the quantum discord, for all pairs of dynamical variables and are the only ground states for which the pairwise quantum correlations vanish asymptotically with the intra-pair distance.
The notion of distance defined on the set of states of a composite quantum system can be used to quantify total, quantum and classical correlations in a unifying way. We provide new closed formulae for classical and total correlations of two-qubit Bell-diagonal states by considering the Bures distance. Complementing the known corresponding expressions for entanglement and more general quantum correlations, we thus complete the quantitative hierarchy of Bures correlations for Bell-diagonal states. We then explicitly calculate Bures correlations for two relevant families of states: Werner states and rank-2 Bell-diagonal states, highlighting the subadditivity which holds for total correlations with respect to the sum of classical and quantum ones when using Bures distance. Finally, we analyse a dynamical model of two independent qubits locally exposed to non-dissipative decoherence channels, where both quantum and classical correlations measured by Bures distance exhibit freezing phenomena, in analogy with other known quantifiers of correlations.