This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.
Mutually unbiased bases (MUBs) have attracted a lot of attention the last years. These bases are interesting for their potential use within quantum information processing and when trying to understand quantum state space. A central question is if there exists complete sets of N+1 MUBs in N-dimensional Hilbert space, as these are desired for quantum state tomography. Despite a lot of effort they are only known in prime power dimensions.
We derive a set of Bell inequalities using correlated random variables. Our inequalities are necessary conditions for the existence of a local realistic description of projective measurements on qubits. We analyze our inequalities for the case of two qubits and find that they are equivalent to the well known CHSH inequalities. We also discuss the sufficiency of our inequalities as well as their applicability to more than two qubits.
Several finite dimensional quasi-probability representations of quantum states have been proposed to study various problems in quantum information theory and quantum foundations. These representations are often defined only on restricted dimensions and their physical significance in contexts such as drawing quantum-classical comparisons is limited by the non-uniqueness of the particular representation.
A new microcanonical equilibrium state is introduced for quantum systems with finite-dimensional state spaces. Equilibrium is characterised by a uniform distribution on a level surface of the expectation value of the Hamiltonian. The distinguishing feature of the proposed equilibrium state is that the corresponding density of states is a continuous function of the energy, and hence thermodynamic functions are well defined for finite quantum systems. The density of states, however, is not in general an analytic function.
What if the second law of thermodynamics, in the hierarchy of physical laws, were at the same level as the fundamental laws of mechanics, such as the great conservation principles? What if entropy were an intrinsic property of matter at the same level as energy is universally understood to be? What if irreversibility were an intrinsic feature of the microscopic dynamical law of all physical objects, including an individual qubit or qudit?
The simplest algebraic curves of genus one are the nonsingular cubics in two-dimensional complex projective space. Interpreting CP^2 as the space of pure quantum states associated with a Hilbert space of dimension three, I will show how various properties of d=3 symmetric informationally complete positive operator valued measures can be understood in terms of the geometry of such curves. The resulting structure, although of considerable complexity, is very beautiful from a mathematical perspective.
The solution of many problems in quantum information is critically dependent on the geometry of the space of density matrices. For a Hilbert space of dimension 2 this geometry is very simple: it is simply a sphere. However for Hilbert spaces of dimension greater than 2 the geometry is much more interesting as the bounding hypersurface is both highly symmetric (it has a d^2 real parameter symmetry group, where d is the dimension) and highly convoluted. The problem of getting a better understanding of this hypersurface is difficult (it is hard even in the case of a single qutrit).