Quantum Information Processing

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 273–294

Monogamy of correlations versus monogamy of entanglement

Open Access


A fruitful way of studying physical theories is via the question whether the possible physical states and different kinds of correlations in each theory can be shared to different parties. Over the past few years it has become clear that both quantum entanglement and non-locality (i.e., correlations that violate Bell-type inequalities) have limited shareability properties and can sometimes even be monogamous. We give a self-contained review of these results and present new results on the shareability of different kinds of correlations, including local, quantum and no-signalling correlations. This includes an alternative simpler proof of the Toner-Verstraete monogamy inequality for quantum correlations, as well as a strengthening thereof. Further, the relationship between sharing non-local quantum correlations and sharing mixed entangled states is investigated, and already for the simplest case of bi-partite correlations and qubits this is shown to be non-trivial. Also, a recently proposed new interpretation of Bell’s theorem by Schumacher in terms of shareability of correlations is critically assessed. Finally, the relevance of monogamy of non-local correlations for secure quantum key distribution is pointed out, and in this regard it is stressed that not all non-local correlations are monogamous.


Quantum mechanics Entanglement Non-locality Monogamy No-signalling Shareability Cryptography 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical Physics and Institute for History and Foundations of ScienceUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Time, Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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