In the Hilbert space operator formalism of quantum mechanics, a single quantum state, which is represented by a density operator, can be regarded as classical in the sense that it can always be diagonalized. However, a quantum ensemble, which is represented by a family of quantum states together with a probability distribution specifying the probability of the occurrence of each state, cannot be diagonalized simultaneously in generic cases, and possesses intrinsic quantum features as long as the involved quantum states are not commutative. The natural question arises as how to quantify its quantumness. By virtue of a canonical correspondence between quantum ensembles and classical-quantum bipartite states, we propose an intuitive entropic quantity which captures certain quantum features of quantum ensembles, and compare it with that defined as the gap between the Holevo quantity and the accessible information. Implications for quantum cryptography and relations to quantum channel capacities are indicated. Some illustrative examples are worked out.
Quantum Information Processing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 11, 2010
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