Distinguishability of quantum states by separable operations

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 2009, 55 (3), pp. 1320 - 1330
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In this paper, we study the distinguishability of multipartite quantum states by separable operations. We first present a necessary and sufficient condition for a finite set of orthogonal quantum states to be distinguishable by separable operations. An analytical version of this condition is derived for the case of (D - 1) pure states, where D is the total dimension of the state space under consideration. A number of interesting consequences of this result are then carefully investigated. Remarkably, we show there exists a large class of 2 ⊗ 2 separable operations not being realizable by local operations and classical communication. Before our work, only a class of 3⊗ 3 nonlocal separable operations was known [Bennett et al, Phys. Rev. A 59, 1070 (1999)]. We also show that any basis of the orthogonal complement of a multipartite pure state is indistinguishable by separable operations if and only if this state cannot be a superposition of one or two orthogonal product states, i.e., has an orthogonal Schmidt number not less than three, thus generalize the recent work about indistinguishable bipartite subspaces [Watrous, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 080505 (2005)]. Notably, we obtain an explicit construction of indistinguishable subspaces of dimension 7 (or 6) by considering a composite quantum system consisting of two qutrits (resp., three qubits), which is slightly better than the previously known indistinguishable bipartite subspace with dimension 8. © 2009 IEEE.
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