Entanglement and Symmetry: A Case Study in Superselection Rules, Reference Frames, and Beyond
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In recent years it has become apparent that constraints on possible quantum operations, such as those constraints imposed by superselection rules (SSRs), have a profound effect on quantum information theoretic concepts like bipartite entanglement. This paper concentrates on a particular example: the constraint that applies when the parties (Alice and Bob) cannot distinguish among certain quantum objects they have. This arises naturally in the context of ensemble quantum information processing such as in liquid NMR. We discuss how a SSR for the symmetric group can be applied, and show how the extractable entanglement can be calculated analytically in certain cases, with a maximum bipartite entanglement in an ensemble of N Bell-state pairs scaling as log(N) as N?8 . We discuss the apparent disparity with the asymptotic (N?8) recovery of unconstrained entanglement for other sorts of superselection rules, and show that the disparity disappears when the correct notion of applying the symmetric group SSR to multiple copies is used. Next we discuss reference frames in the context of this SSR, showing the relation to the work of von Korff and Kempe [Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 260502 (2004)]. The action of a reference frame can be regarded as the analog of activation in mixed-state entanglement. We also discuss the analog of distillation: there exist states such that one copy can act as an imperfect reference frame for another copy. Finally we present an example of a stronger operational constraint, that operations must be noncollective as well as symmetric. Even under this stronger constraint we, nevertheless, show that Bell nonlocality (and hence entanglement) can be demonstrated for an ensemble of N Bell-state pairs no matter how large N is. This last work is a generalization of that of Mermin [Phys. Rev. D 22, 356 (1980)].
Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)
Copyright 2006 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.