Discord, Quantum Knowledge and Private Communications

  • Mile Gu
  • Stefano PirandolaEmail author
Part of the Quantum Science and Technology book series (QST)


In this brief review, we discuss the role that quantum correlations, as quantified by quantum discord, play in two interesting settings. The first one is discerning which unitaries have been applied on a quantum system, by taking advantage of knowledge regarding its initial configuration. Here discord captures the ‘quantum’ component of this knowledge, useful only when we have access to a quantum memory. In particular, discord can be used to detect whether an untrusted party has certain quantum capabilities. The second setting is quantum cryptography. Here discord represents an important resource for trusted-noise quantum key distribution and also provides a general upper bound for the optimal secret key rates that are achievable by ideal protocols. In particular, the (two-way assisted) secret key capacity of a lossy bosonic channel exactly coincides with the maximum discord that can be distributed between the remote parties at the two ends of the channel.



Authors acknowledge financial support from the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF), NRF-Fellowship (Reference No: NRF-NRFF2016-02), the John Templeton Foundation (Grant No 54914) and the EPSRC via the ‘UK Quantum Communications Hub’ (EP/M013472/1).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physical and Mathematical SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Complexity InstituteNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Centre for Quantum TechnologiesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Computer Science & York Centre for Quantum TechnologiesUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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