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Geometry of the Set of Mixed Quantum States: An Apophatic Approach

Part of the Trends in Mathematics book series (TM)

Abstract

The set of quantum states consists of density matrices of order N, which are hermitian, positive and normalized by the trace condition. We analyze the structure of this set in the framework of the Euclidean geometry naturally arisingin the space of hermitian matrices. For \( N\,\,=\,\,2 \) this set is the Bloch ball, embedded in \( \mathbb{R}^3 \). For \( N\,\,\geq \,\,3\) this set of dimensionality \( N^2 \,\,-\,1 \) has a much richer structure. We study its properties and at first advocate an apophatic approach, which concentrates on characteristics not possessed by this set. We also apply more constructive techniques and analyze twodimensional cross-sections and projections of the set of quantum states. They are dual to each other. At the end we make some remarks on certain dimension dependent properties.

Keywords

  • Quantum states
  • density matrices
  • convex sets
  • PACS.
  • 03.65.Aa
  • 02.40.Ft.

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010). Primary 81P16; Secondary 52A20.

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Correspondence to Ingemar Bengtsson .

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Dedicated to prof. Bogdan Mielnik on the occasion of his 75th birthday

Primary 81P16; Secondary 52A20.

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Bengtsson, I., Weis, S., Życzkowski, K. (2013). Geometry of the Set of Mixed Quantum States: An Apophatic Approach. In: Kielanowski, P., Ali, S., Odzijewicz, A., Schlichenmaier, M., Voronov, T. (eds) Geometric Methods in Physics. Trends in Mathematics. Birkhäuser, Basel. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-0348-0448-6_15

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