Information in Individual Quantum Systems

Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademisches Grades eines Doktors der technischen Wissenschaften unter der Leitung von

o.Univ.Prof.Dr. Anton Zeilinger
E141 Atominstitut der ¨ osterreichischen Universit¨ aten

eingereicht an der Technische Universit¨ at Wien Naturwissenschaftliche Fakult¨ at von

ˇ Mag. Caslav Brukner
9108742 Pulverturmgasse 15/22, 1090 Wien

Wien, am 16. September 1999

Gef¨ ordert vom Fonds zur F¨ orderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Projekt Nr. S6502 und F1506

Contents

Introduction

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From quantum theory to an information invariant ...
1 Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment 1.1 1.2

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’Unbestimmtheit’ vs ’Unbekanntheit’ in a Quantum Experiment . 12 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information in a Quantum Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 An Operational Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 An Axiomatic Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 A Physical Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

1.3

Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment . . . 35

2 Information Content of a Quantum System 2.1

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A Qubit Carries One Bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 2.1.1 2.1.2 Complementary Propositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Invariant Information in a Qubit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

2.2

Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement . . . . . . . . . . . 53 2.2.1 2.2.2 Pairs of Complementary Propositions . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Invariant Information in Two Qubits . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

2.3

N Qubits Carry N Bits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

A.1 Information Content of a Classical System . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 i

... and back.
3 Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7

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The Principle of Quantization of Information . . . . . . . . . . . 71 The Number of Mutually Complementary Propositions . . . . . . 77 Malus’s Law in Quantum Mechanics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 The deBroglie Wavelength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Dynamics of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication . . . . . . . . . . 99 Change of Information in Measurement – ”Reduction of the Wave Packet” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

B.1 Continuity of Information Implies Analyticity of Information . . 113 B.2 A General Transformation in the Space of Information . . . . . . 115 Conclusions Preprint from Phys. Rev. Lett. References 117 121 127

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die in dem System enthalten ist. Intuitiv erwartet man. z. m¨ oglich. eine Komponente des Spins. unterschiedliche Versuchsanordnungen zu w¨ ahlen. Im Fall der Spinmessungen k¨ onnten jene die Projektionen entlang gedrehter Richtungen sein. Dem Beobachter steht es jedenfalls frei. zu reden. z. z. Nach der Kopenhagener Deutung der Quantenmechanik.B. in dem sich diese Eigenschaft manifestiert. kann auf Kosten von maximaler Ungewißheit u ¨ ber die anderen orthogonalen Komponenten pr¨ azise definiert werden. Wir definieren ein neues Informationmaß f¨ ur eine einzelne Messung. die besonders von Niels Bohr ausgearbeitet wurde. daß die Gesamtungewißheit.B. unter einer solchen Transformation 1 . Eine Variable. Bevor das Experiment durchgef¨ uhrt wird. die spezifischen Wahrscheinlichkeiten f¨ ur alle m¨ oglichen einzelnen Resultate sind. einen anderen Satz komplement¨ arer Variablen zu messen und gewinnt folglich Kenntnis u ¨ber eine oder mehrere Variablen auf Kosten geringerer Kenntnis u ¨ber andere. wenn die entsprechenden Operatoren nicht kommutieren. in denen die Ungewißheit in einer Komponente verringert wird und in einer anderen Komponente (oder mehreren Komponenten) entsprechend erh¨ oht wird. macht es keinen Sinn. die einzelnen Spinresultate: ”Spin hinauf” und ”Spin hinunter”. Dieses basiert auf der Tatsache. Diese Quantenkomplementarit¨ at von Variablen tritt auf. Wir definieren den Gesamtinformationsgehalt eines Quantensystems als die Summe der Informationmaße einzelner Variablen eines vollst¨ andigen Satzes sich gegenseitig vollst¨ andig ausschließender (komplement¨ arer) Variablen.B. die einander sogar vollst¨ andig ausschliessen k¨ onnen. kennt ein Beobachter nur die spezifischen Wahrscheinlichkeiten aller m¨ oglichen einzelnen Resultate. von der Eigenschaft eines Quantensystems unabh¨ angig von dem Versuchsaufbau. die Messung der orthogonalen Komponenten des Spins. die vor der Durchf¨ uhrung der Messung definiert sind.Zusammenfassung In jedem m¨ oglichen Quantenexperiment ist eine endliche Anzahl von unterschiedlichen Resultaten. oder gleichwertig die Gesamtinformation. daß in einer einzelnen Quantenmessung die einzigen Eigenschaften des Systems. Der Beobachter kann sich entscheiden.

daß die Gesamtinformation eines Systems. das beispielweise aus zwei Elementarsystemen besteht.h. Wir deuten das Bestehen dieser Eigenschaft der Gesamtinformation als Indiz. Die nat¨ urlichste Funktion zwischen der Wahrscheinlichkeit f¨ ur das Auftreten eines spezifischen Resultates und der Laborparameter. daß in der Quantenmechanik die Information der grundlegendste Begriff ist. F¨ ur ein Zweiteilchensystem beispielweise erhalten wir maximale Verschr¨ ankung dann. leiten wir dann einige wesentliche Elemente der logischen Struktur der Quantentheorie ab. daß Information eines zusammengesetzten Mehrteilchensystems auf gemeinsame Eigenschaften verteilt werden kann. vereinbar ist. Im zweiten Teil argumentieren wir f¨ ur ein neues Grundprinzip der Quantenmechanik. Diese Art des Zufallscharakters ist nicht reduzierbar. Andernfalls w¨ urde das Elementarsystem mehr Information als ein Bit tragen. das davon ausgeht. daß ein Elementarsystem nur ein Bit an Information tr¨ agt. daß das elementarste System durch ein Bit an Information gekennzeichnet ist. er kann nicht auf ”verborgene” Eigenschaften des Systems zur¨ uckgef¨ uhrt werden. Von diesem Grundprinzip ausgehend. muß die sinusf¨ ormige Abh¨ angigkeit sein. Im ersten Teil der vorliegenden Arbeit zeigen wir.von einem vollst¨ andigen Satz komplement¨ arer Variablen zu einem anderen unver¨ andert bleibt. Wir zeigen. d. ersch¨ opft worden sind. gegr¨ undet auf den Ergebnissen der Quantentheorie. Information in den Einzelteilchen zu verschl¨ usseln. Da ein Quantensystem nicht mehr Information tragen kann als in den Bits enhalten ist. Die Gesamtinformation eines System (bestehend aus einer endlichen Anzahl von Bits) manifestiert sich nur in bestimmten Messungen. die mit dem Grundprinzip. um gemeinsame Eigenschaften zu spezifizieren. die unserem neuen Maß entsprechend definiert ist. Ebenso stellt ein zusammengesetztes System. und keine weitere M¨ oglichkeit mehr existiert. zwei Bits dar. Verschr¨ ankung resultiert aus der Tatsache. . genau diese Invarianzeigenschaft hat. wenn die zwei Bits. ist der Zufallscharakter der einzelnen Resultate in den anderen (komplement¨ aren) Messungen dann eine notwendige Konsequenz. die G¨ ultigkeit der Invarianzeigenschaft der Gesamtinformation und schlagen Ideen f¨ ur das grundlegende Prinzip der Quantenmechanik vor.

It is proposed here that the foundational principle for quantum theory may be identified through the assumption that the most elementary system carries one bit of information only. Our results we interpret as implying that information is the most fundamental notion in quantum mechanics. For a composite system. maximal entanglement results if the total information carried by the system is exhausted in specifying joint properties. the only feature known before an experiment is performed are the probabilities for various events to occur. 3 . This operational quantum information invariant results in k bits of information for a system consisting of k qubits. The most natural function between probabilities for outcomes to occur and the experimental parameters.Abstract A new measure of information in quantum mechanics is proposed which takes into account that for quantum systems. Based on this observation we suggest ideas for a foundational principle for quantum theory. The sum of the individual measures of information for mutually complementary observations is invariant under the choice of the particular set of complementary observations and conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment. Therefore an elementary system can only give a definite answer in one specific measurement. is the well-known sinusoidal dependence. The irreducible randomness of individual outcomes in other measurements and quantum complementarity are then necessary consequences. with no individual qubit carrying any information on its own. consistent with the foundational principle proposed.

4

Introduction
The ongoing debate about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, including the meaning of specific phenomena like the measurement problem, indicate that the foundations of quantum theory are not understood to the same degree as those of classical mechanics or special relativity. While the basic concepts of classical mechanics coincide well with our intuition, special relativity is out of our immediate insight. Yet this theory is based on the principle of relativity, which asserts that the laws of physics must be the same in all inertial systems including constancy of the speed of light. However, even as the theory itself is based on such simple and in part intuitively clear principles it nevertheless predicts some surprising and even counter-intuitive consequences. The foundational principles for special relativity imply an invariance of the specific interval (eigenzeit) between two events with respect to all inertial frames of reference. Data on pure time intervals obtained with respect to two relatively moving inertial frames of reference will differ, and so will data on spatial distances. It is possible however, to form a single expression from time intervals and space distances that will have the same value with respect to all inertial frames of reference. If the time interval between two distant events is denoted by ∆t and their space distance from each other by ∆l, an expression involving a quantity symbolized by ∆s can be derived in which (∆s)2 equals the square of the time interval minus the fraction of distance squared over speed of light squared, (∆s)2 = (∆t)2 − (∆l)2 /c2 . This will have the same value as (∆t )2 − (∆l )2 /c2 with ∆t and ∆l having been obtained in another inertial frame of reference. Quantum mechanics lacks such invariants and principles to this day. Possibly the lack of generally accepted invariants and foundational principles for quantum mechanics is the main reason for the problem in understanding quantum mechanics1 and thus, for the coexistence of philosophically quite different
In his book [1967] Richard Feynman makes the following statement: ”There was a time the newspaper said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, because
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6 interpretations of the theory. In fact, we have a number of coexisting interpretations utilizing mutually contradictory concepts [Zeilinger, 1996]. A very incomplete list of the many interpretations of quantum mechanics includes the original Copenhagen Interpretation [Bohr, 1935], the Many–World Interpretation [Everett, 1957], the Statistical Interpretation [Ballentine, 1970], Bohm’s interpretation [Bohm, 1952], the Transactional Interpretation [Cramer, 1986], Consistent Histories Interpretation [Griffiths, 1984] and Mermin’s Ithaca interpretation [Mermin, 1998(a), 1998(b), 1998(c)]. In any quantum experiment with discrete variables a number of different outcomes are possible, for example, the individual spin outcomes ”spin up” and ”spin down”. Before the experiment is performed an experimentalist only knows the specific probabilities for all possible individual outcomes. In chapter 1 we define a new measure of the experimentalist’s information for an individual measurement based on the fact that the only features defined before the measurement is performed are the specific probabilities for all possible individual outcomes. The observer is free to choose different experiments which might even completely exclude each other, for example measurements of orthogonal components of spin. This quantum complementarity of variables occurs when the corresponding operators do not commute. One quantity, for example the zcomponent of spin, might be well defined at the expense of maximal uncertainty about the other orthogonal components. In chapter 2 we define the total information content in a quantum system to be the sum over all individual measures for a complete set of mutually complementary experiments. The experimentalist may decide to measure a different set of complementary variables thus gaining certainty about one or more variables at the expense of losing certainty about other(s). In the case of spin this could be the projections along rotated directions, for example, where the uncertainty in one component is reduced but the one in another component is increased correspondingly. Intuitively one expects that the total uncertainty or, equivalently, the total information carried by the system is invariant under such transformation from one complete set of complementary variables to another one. In chapter 2 we show that the total information defined according to our new measure has exactly that invariance property. We interpret the existence of that quantum information invariant as implying that in quantum mechanics information is the most fundamental notion. In the first part From Quantum Theory to an
he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

but a foundational conceptual principle which answers Wheeler’s [1983] question ”Why the Quantum?” This principle is then the reason for some essential features of quantum mechanics. sinusoidal relation between probabilities and laboratory parameters. quantum complementarity. von Weizs¨ acker [1985] and Wheeler [1983]. of the thesis (chapter 1 and 2) we argue.. and entanglement. In the second part . By a foundational principle we do not mean an axiomatic formalization of the mathematical foundation of quantum mechanics. In this view we will discuss precisely the empirical significance of the terms involved in formulating quantum theory. and back of the thesis (chapter 3) we will turn the reasoning around and.7 Information Invariant . particularly the notion of a quantum state. The conceptual groundwork for the ideas presented here has been prepared most notably by Bohr [1958]. However we are aware of the possibility that this might not carry the same degree of emotional appeal for everyone... in a way which leads clearly to an understanding of the theory. derive some essential features of the logical structure of quantum theory. like the irreducible randomness of an individual quantum event. based on the suggested foundational principle for quantum mechanics. based on the known features of quantum physics. the suggested foundational principle for quantum mechanics will imply invariance of a specific operational information measure with respect to all possible observer’s choices for a complete set of complementary experiments. for the validity of the quantum information invariant and we suggest ideas for a foundational principle for quantum theory. In a similar fashion as the foundational principles for special relativity imply invariance of the specific measure of distance (eigenzeit) in space-time with respect to all observers in inertial frames of reference. ..

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. 9 .From quantum theory to an information invariant ..

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1. there is no ambiguity in defining inertial mass as its measure. it has no definite spacetime coordinates. say. Our ignorance about the position of the moon given before we look at the sky is the ignorance about a property already existing in the outside world. Jr. the general notion of information becomes a scientific one only if it is made measurable. as Einstein once commented upon the ether. an unambiguous clear-cut definition of information remains slippery as that of randomness. or complexity. Is it merely a set of data? Or is it itself physical? If the latter. With the only exception of a system being in an eigenstate of the measured observable. The situation in quantum measurement is drastically different. and the concept becomes scientifically useful.1 as implying that the notion of 11 . we find out where the moon is and it is certainly safe to assume that the property of the moon to be there is independent of whether anyone looks or not. [1997] writes that ”. an individual quantum event is intrisically random and therefore cannot be assumed to just reveal a property of the system existing before the experiment is performed. Similarly. While the term can seem a bit obscure in its meaning.” He continuous further in the text: ”The difficulty is somewhat similar to that of attempting to explain the origin and meaning of inertia to beginning students.Chapter 1 Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment In a review article about the role of information in physics W. This we interpret in Sec. Before we look at the sky we are completely uncertain about the position of the moon. T.” The question arises: How to measure information? In particular we ask: ”How to measure information acquired in a quantum experiment?” Assume we want to find out the position of the moon in the sky on a fullmoon night... Grandy. When we look at the sky.

One finds that only in the latter arrangement an interference pattern is exhibited. By this example Einstein hoped to give a gedanken double-slit experiment which would yield both which-path information and also show the wave-like interference phenomenon.1 ’Unbestimmtheit’ vs ’Unbekanntheit’ in a Quantum Experiment We begin with a brief survey of the usual textbook examples..1b. 1.12 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment our ignorance. revealing through which slit the electron reached the screen. Perhaps the archetypical example is Einstein’s recoiling-slit experiment [Bohr. we show in Sec. Feynman explained that this observation procedure destroys the interference pattern. we propose a new measure of information for an individual quantum measurement in Sec.3. 1. the diaphragm placed in front of the diaphragm pierced with two slits can recoil (Fig. a quantum measurement does not reveal a pre-existing property.2 that because of the completely different root of a quantum measurement as compared to that of a classical measurement. In the second arrangement in Fig. He concluded his analysis with the following . In a famous paper [1949]. the diaphragm is fixed so that the path can not be determinated. The scattering of a photon is used to detect the electron position just behind the slits. In this scheme the interfering electron is observed by light-scattering. For clarity we emphasize that our measure of information is not equivalent to Shannon’s information. 1. 1965] version of Einstein’s gedanken experiment..” Another example along these lines is Feynman’s [Feynman et al. as to which specific experimental result will be obtained in an individual run of the experiment plays a more fundamental role in quantum measurement than in classical measurement. Based on the fact that in an individual quantum measurement the only feature defined before the measurement is performed are probabilities for all possible individual outcomes to occur. 1. our measure of information takes into account that. While Shannon’s information is applicable when a measurement reveals a pre-existing property. 1949]. Bohr concluded ”. in as much as only one of the momenta of a photon passing through one or the other slit is consistent with a known amount of recoil momentum.. In the first arrangement.1a) and reveal through which slit of the second diaphragm the photon reached the screen. or information. In fact. 1. we are presented with a choice of either tracing the path of a particle or observing interference effects. Bohr analyzed two arrangements related to the recoiling-slit experiment. certain conceptual difficulties arise when we try to define information gain in a quantum measurement by the notion of Shannon’s information. in general.

it cannot be so delicate that it does not disturb the pattern in an essential way. independent of whether the experimenter cares to read it out or not. in principle. will involve an uncontrollable change in the momentum of the diaphragm. . b) in the double slit experiment. If the diaphragm with two slits is fixed an interference pattern is exhibited as given in Fig. Rather the lack of interference is due to the fact that the quantum state is prepared in such a way as to permit path information to be obtained.1. a) and the path of the particle (Fig. a). loss of interference is due to an uncontrollable transfer of energy and/or momentum to the particle associated with any attempt to observe the particle’s path. The figures are taken from [Bohr. as in most other usual textbook examples. This initiated a number of misconceptions being put forward in the literature. there will always be. 1949]. b) when the diaphragm can recoil no interference pattern is observed.” The lack of ”our knowledge of the position of the slit” excludes then the appearance of the interference phenomena. the which-path information is obtained. however.1 ’Unbestimmtheit’ vs ’Unbekanntheit’ in a Quantum Experiment 13 a) b) Figure 1. any reading of the scale. Over the last few years experiments were considered and some already performed. statement: ”If an apparatus is capable of determining which hole the electron goes through. According to the most significant misconception. in whatever way performed. Unavoidable disturbances might again be because of the intrinsic clumsiness of any macroscopic measuring apparatus. a reciprocal relationship between our knowledge of the position of the slit and the accuracy of the momentum control. No one has ever found (or even thought of) a way around the uncertainty principle. where the reason why no interference pattern arises is not due to any uncontrollable disturbance of the quantum system or the clumsiness of the apparatus. exposing the interfering particle to uncontrollable scattering effects.1: Two mutually exclusive experimental arrangements to observe the interference pattern (Fig. Bohr [1949] writes: ”Since. in conformity with the indeterminacy principle.” In the experimental situations discussed so far. In the experimental situation in Fig.

Consider a setup where a source emits two particles with antiparallel momenta which then feed two Mach-Zehnder interferometers [Horne et al.e. Therefore we conclude an interference pattern should arise in coincidence counts between the detectors for particle 1 and for particle 2 shown in Fig. 1. if we place one cavity into the each of two paths of the interference experiment. 1995] as shown in Fig. and if we register both particle 1 in either detector U1 or L1 and particle 2 in either detector U2 or L2 . particle 2 is found in beam C and whenever particle 1 is found in beam B particle 2 is found in beam D.1) Will we now observe an interference pattern for particle 2. 1. an atom passes through a cavity such that it exchanges exactly one photon with the cavity without changing momentum..2. 1990]. we have forgone any possibility of obtaining path information. This indeed follows from quantum mechanical calculations [Horne et al.1). one has information on whether or not an atom passed through it without influencing the momentum of the atom. The quantum state is 1 |ψ = (|A 1 |C 2 + |B 1 |D 2 ). i. One line of such research considers the use of pairs of particles which are strongly entangled.2: An arrangement for two-particle interferometry. Typically in such an experiment.. if we recombine the two paths of particle 1 as indicated in Fig.. 1989].. 2 (1. Now. the well-known sinusoidal variation of the intensities registered in the detectors U2 and L2 upon variation of the phase φ2 ? The answer has to be negative because by simply placing detectors in the beams A and B of particle 1 we can determine which path particle 1 took. Phase shifters in both interferometers permit continuous variations of the phases φ1 and φ2 . Particle 1 traverses the Mach-Zehnder interferometer starting with the beams A and B while particle 2 traverses the Mach-Zehnder interferometer starting with the beams C and D.2.2. [Herzog et al.14 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Figure 1. Thus by investigating the cavity. The lack of interference can easily be calculated starting from the state (1. 1989].1). The source emits two particles in the entangled state (1. Another independent approach to complementarity in an interference experiment considers the use of micromasers in atomic beam experiments [Scully et al. we may obtain information on which path the atom took. 1991]. Yet. [Rarity and Tapster. 1. The . Then whenever particle 1 is found in beam A.

it is in principle not possible to assign to a quantum system simultaneously properties that both correspond to complementary measurements. a version given by Clauser. It is the mere possibility of obtaining path information which guarantees that no interference occurs1 . For example. The mathematical expression of that bound is called Bell’s inequality.. 1935]: ”Since at the time of measurement the two systems no longer interact. and not uncontrollable alternations of the spatial wave function. 1990] show. whether detector U2 or L2 for a specific phase φ2 is triggered must be independent of which measurement we actually perform on the other particle (e. and which in order to be in agreement with special relativity.1 ’Unbestimmtheit’ vs ’Unbekanntheit’ in a Quantum Experiment 15 interference pattern does not arise. Then we have just the information that the atom passed through the apparatus. In fact.. φ2 )| ≤ 2 where E (φ1 . On the other hand. 1964] and Greenberger. it is natural to assume validity of the locality condition suggested by EPR [Einstein. 1989. Horne and Zeilinger [Greenberger et al. of which many variants exists.2. φ2 )| + |E (φ1 . φ2 ) − P+− (φ1 . Podolsky and Rosen. In this case the atoms counted in coincidence with the photons are members of an ensemble defining an interference pattern. it is simply the information contained in a functioning measuring apparatus that changes the outcome of the experiment.1. φ2 ). The principle impossibility of local realism will now be briefly demonstrated for our example of the two-particle interference experiment given in Fig. [1991] wrote: ”. resulting from the action of the measuring apparatus on the system under observation. As the two particles in our example might be widely separated. Scully et al. but not along which path. we can read the information in the micromasers in such a way as to erase all information on which micromaser the photon has been stored in. These two experiments underline clearly that complementary does not originate in some uncontrollable disturbance of pre-assigned properties of a quantum system in a measurement process. 1. independent of the phase φ1 ) and even independent of whether we care to perform any measurement at all on that particle.” 1 (1. This assumption implies that certain combinations of expectation values have definite bounds. Horne. φ2 ) = P++ (φ1 .” Then. no real change can take place in the second system in consequence of anything that may be done to the first system. have to be local.3) .g. φ2 ) + E (φ1 .2) (1. Shimony and Holt [1969] is |E (φ1 . φ2 ) − P−+ (φ1 . φ2 ) + P−− (φ1 . as theorems like those of Bell [Bell. φ2 ) − E (φ1 .

.. diese Relationen enthalten die Aussage. 1982]. [Bouwmeester et. Here we assume that particle 1 gives result + (−) when it triggers detector U1 (L1 ) and particle 2 gives result + (−) when it triggers detector U2 (L2 ).. Maximal violation occurs for φ1 = 45◦ . al. 1996] and quantum communication such as quantum dense coding [Mattle et al. quantum cloning [Wootters and Zurek.” 2 . and a connection of these two notions is decisive for the whole quantum theory. e. nicht nur Unbekanntheit des Impulses zur Folge hat und umgekehrt. 1996].g. 1992] and quantum teleportation [Bennett et al.16 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment For the quantum state (1. 1993]. where the left-hand side of Eq.. where we suppose a phase shift of i for reflection and 1 for transmission at the beam splitter. P++ (φ1 .. 3 Translated:”. He stresses [Bohr. [Pan et al.. φ2 = 0◦ . Thus. √ φ1 = 135◦ . 1997]. φ2 = 90◦ .” We note that a view of information as the most fundamental concept in quantum mechanics also leads to the most natural understanding of new phenomena in quantum computation [Barenco et al.. The distinction between (fundamental) indefiniteness and unknownness. Any firm foundation of complementarity has to make recourse to the property of mutual exclusiveness of different classes of information of a quantum system. Bohr dislikes phrases like ”disturbing phenomena by observations” exactly because of their potential for confusion. the assumption of local realism is in conflict with quantum physics itself... Then. not just an unknownness. [Buˇ zek and Hillery. 1995(a)].2) will be 2 2 in clear violation of the inequality. From this we learn that we cannot speak of complementarity as a consequence of some ”disturbance” of a system in the measurement if there are no objective properties to disturb2 . (1.1) this becomes EQM (φ1 . entanglement swapˇ ping [Zukowski et al. An important feature of the analysis so far is that we have to base our concept of complementarity on the much more fundamental concept of information. As stated by Pauli [1958] in the analysis of the uncertainty relations3 : ” . including an account of the whole experimental arrangement”.. φ2 ) = cos(φ2 − φ1 ). 1958] the use of ”the word phenomenon exclusively to refer to observations made under specific circumstances. this relations contain the statement that any precise knowledge of the position of a particle implies a fundamental indefiniteness. daß jede genaue Kenntnis des Teilchenortes zugleich eine prinzipielle Unbestimmtheit. quantum cryptography [Bennett et al. of the momentum for a consequence and vice versa. 1998]. Die Unterscheidung zwischen (prinzipieller) Unbestimmtheit und Unbekanntheit und der Zusammenhang beider Begriffe sind f¨ ur die ganze Quantentheorie entscheidend. 1993]. φ2 ) is the joint probability that particle 1 gives + and particle 2 gives +.

consider the following example. The proportions in which the different colors are present is known. There are various ways to motivate the Shannon measure of information. 1 1 1 white.2. Of course.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . p2 = 4 . with the proportions p1 = 1 2 . i. while this is rather natural in classical physics. One can think of these situations as extreme cases on a varying scale of predictability. Now the urn is shaken. questions with ”yes” or ”no” answers only. red.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information in a Quantum Measurement Shannon’s measure of information is generally considered to be very useful to describe information in a physical observation. 17 1. respectively. it becomes problematic and even untenable in quantum physics.1 An Operational Approach For classical observations Shannon’s information can be strengthened through an operational approach to the question. required to discern the outcome of an experiment.. 1. if the various colors are present in equal proportions. This element is always associated with the objective randomness of individual quantum events and with quantum complementarity. To carry this out. and green. In an operational approach Shannon’s information is introduced as the expected minimal number of binary questions. As a specific example consider an urn containing balls of four colors: black. In an axiomatic approach the Shannon measure is uniquely specified by Shannon’s postulates which establish some intuitively clear relations between individual amounts of information gained in different individual observations. When investigating these three approaches in the next sections we will notice that each approach contains an element that escapes complete and full description in quantum mechanics. the number of questions needed will depend on the questioning strategy . And in a physical approach Shannon’s information is characterized in terms of some natural properties which are essential from the point of view of the physics considered. On the other hand. Here we will see that. we can completely predict the outcome of the draw. and we draw a single ball. Suppose now that one wishes to learn the color of the drawn ball by asking questions to which only ”yes” or ”no” can be given as an answer. we are completely uncertain about the outcome.. An urn is filled with colored balls.e. To what extent can we predict the color of the drawn ball? If all the balls in the urn are of the same color. p3 = 8 and p4 = 8 .1.

Again.18 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Figure 1. and if the answer is ”no” we proceed in a similar fashion until the identity of the outcome is at hand. in order that we can expect to gain from each yes-or-no question maximal information. adopted. we will be able to strike out a weighted half of the possibilities. Now of course for an arbitrary probability distribution p1 . If the answer is ”no”. red and green colors are present are p1 = 1 2 . that is. If the answer is ”yes”. a good question to start with is to ask ”Is the color of the drawn ball black?” (Fig. i=1 .3: Binary question tree to determine the color of a drawn ball. In order to make this strategy the most optimal. p2 = 4 .3. then we are done. Indeed. + 8 8 4 pi log pi . It is easy to see that following the above optimal strategy the mean minimal number of binary questions needed to determine the color of the drawn ball is p1 × 1 + p2 × 2 + (p3 + p4 ) × 3 = Notice that this may be written as 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 − log − log − log − log = 2 2 4 4 8 8 8 8 where the logarithm is taken to base 2. p2 . A particular outcome is specified by writing down. 1 1 p3 = 8 and p4 = 8 .3). a division into two sets of equal probability is not always 4 1 1 ×1+ ×2+ 2 4 1 1 7 ×3= . p3 and p4 over a set of colors. the yes’s and no’s encountered in travelling from the root to the specific leaf of the tree schematically depicted in Fig. green} and proceed by posing the question ”Is the color of the drawn ball white?”. one may divide the set that remains after this first round into two parts of equal probability {white} and {red. we evidently have to ask questions whose answers will strike out half of the possibilities. white. respectively. the virtue being that. we are done. The pro1 portions in which black. in order. 1. regardless of the answer ”yes” or ”no”. 1. if the answer is ”yes”.

4 To be specific. . and of the N th black or white or green?”. We wish to learn colors of N drawn balls by asking questions to which only ”yes” or ”no” can be given as the answer. then the probability of obtaining the sequence containing p1 N black balls.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . p2 N . no matter how small might be.5) √ where we use the Stirling approximation N ! ≈ 2πN N N e−N . Let us now turn back to our problem. Now. Such a sequence is called typical sequence4 . We assume again that we wish to learn the colors of N drawn balls by asking questions to which only ”yes” or ”no” can be given as an answer. Notice that a particular typical sequence is specified by the particular order of the balls distinguishable by the particular color sequence. p3 N red balls and p4 N green balls is [Shannon. and thus the total number of questions needed can be reduced. like ”Is the color of the first drawn ball black or white. p2 N white balls. Hence. 1949] p1 N p2 N p3 N p4 p(sequence) = pN p2 p3 p4 = 1 1 2N H where H=− 4 pi log pi i=1 (1. If N is sufficiently large then N! −→ 2N H . In this manner it becomes easier to find questions for which the probability of ”yes” and ”no” are approximately equal.. Suppose p1 N . 19 possible.. it can be shown that the probability that N outcomes actually form a typical sequence is greater than 1 − . and there are 2N H of them. the typical sequences all have equal probability. of the second drawn ball red. (p1 N )!(p2 N )!(p3 N )!(p4 N )! (1. we define the set of typical sequences to be all sequences such that 2−N (H + ) ≤ p(sequence) ≤ 2−N (H − ) > 0..4) is the Shannon information expressed in bits when the logarithm is taken to base 2. Now. red and green balls indistinguishable within each group. for sufficiently large N . however. p3 N and p4 N are all integers. questions of a mixed type may be asked. white.1. The total number of typical sequences can be obtained as the number of distinguishable permutations of N balls made up of 4 groups of black. One may then consider a generalized situation where we draw a ball N times without replacing the drawn ball.. ..

A generalization 5 The Shannon information therefore refers to the information about an individual outcome of an experiment. p3 N red balls and p4 N green balls. divided by N [Feinstein. This should be contrasted to the cases where the notion of information refers to knowledge about an unknown parameter in a probability distribution [Fisher. [Uffink. suppose N drawn balls form a typical sequence. respectively. determining the colors of the drawn balls one after another. Or equivalently.20 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Figure 1. . An explicit example with an urn containing balls of two different colors is given in Fig. Now. where H = −p1 log p1 − p2 log p2 . or the information that one event provides about another event [Gelfand and Yaglom. If we address this problem in a piece-wise manner. or the information for discriminating between two probability distributions [Kullback. Since there are 2N H possible typical sequences and all of them have equal probability to be drawn. This is known as the noiseless coding theorem.4: Binary question tree to determine the specific sequence of outcomes (color of the drawn balls) in a sufficiently large number N of experimental trials (number of drawings). the Shannon information5 expressed in bits is the minimal number of yes-no questions necessary to determine which particular sequence of outcomes occurs. the minimal number of yes-no questions needed is just N H . 1957]. 1959]. In other words. the number of questions needed will just be N times that needed for a single ball. However we may use another strategy. 1958]. An urn is filled with black and white balls with proportions p1 and p2 .4. 1990]. Suppose N is sufficiently large that the sequence of N drawn balls contains close to p1 N black balls. p2 N white balls. 1925]. in order to learn the colors of the drawn balls we need only to identify which particular typical sequence is actually drawn. The expected number of questions needed to determine the actual sequence of outcomes is N H . 1.

Now suppose we perform the polarization experiment a sufficiently large number N of times so that the sequence of actual outcomes forms a typical sequence. after the measurement is performed and its actual result becomes known the information necessary to specify the measurement result is quantified by the Shannon measure of information.1.. when it encounters the polarization filter... we may speak of a ”creation” of Shannon’s information in the measurement. This implies that Shannon’s information defined as the number of yes/no questions needed to determine the particular order of 1’ and 0’s in the actual sequence of outcomes cannot be assumed to describe our ignorance about the future measurement results that is given before the measurements are performed and that is then removed after the measurements are performed. pn over a finite set of n colors may easily be obtained. . to pass through the filter or to be absorbed by the filter. Each individual photon. implies that the particular outcome sequence of 1’s and 0’s specified by writing down. We now analyze Shannon’s notion of information in a quantum measurement. 21 for the probability distribution p1 . An individual outcome observed in a single experimental trial is fundamentally random and cannot be assumed to reveal the property of an individual photon. because no individual outcome and consequently no particular order of 1’s and 0’s we observe in the sequence of measurements is defined before the measurements are performed. in the sense of fundamental nonexistence of a detailed description of and prediction for the individual quantum event resulting in the particular measurement result.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . In the sense that an individual quantum event manifests itself only in the measurement process and is not precisely defined before measurement is performed. Of course. In our explicit example. Yet. this information has no reference to the particular experimental situation given before the experiment is performed and therefore it is not appropriate to define the information about the system that is gained by the performance of the experiment. The principal indefiniteness. assigned before the measurement is performed... has exactly two equally probable options: to pass straight through the filter (we call this the outcome ”1”) or to be absorbed by the filter (the outcome ”0”). It is interesting to contrast this with Shannon’s [1949] writing of information as . p2 . the amount of ”created” information is maximal because vertical polarization and polarization at 45◦ are maximally complementary attributes. In particular we consider a beam of photons prepared with vertical polarization and analyzed by a filter polarized at an angle of 45◦ from the vertical position. We observe a particular sequence of 1’s and 0’s. the yes’s and no’s encountered in a row of yes/no questions asked is not defined before the measurement is performed. in order.

not even in principle. p2 . This has been expressed strongly by Jaynes [1957] in words: ”One . to assign to a quantum system properties corresponding to all possible measurements. a particular order of individual events that is recorded is predetermined and originates in the intrinsic properties individual constituents possess before measurements.22 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment being ”produced” by a source. 1. [Shannon’s postulates]. this can be done even in situations where we have no way to distinguish the individual constituents and their behavior experimentally.2. using his postulates. If we perform a sequence of measurements on the ensemble. . The Shannon information is surely adequate for the situation in classical physics where we can always mentally split the ensemble into its constituents and where the stochastic behavior of the whole ensemble follows from the behavior of its intrinsic different individual constituents which can be thought of as being defined to any precision.. p2 .. pn ). it is reasonable to require of .. . pn . He writes [1949]: ”Suppose we have a set of possible events whose probabilities of occurrence are p1 . and thus cannot be claimed to reveal a property existing before the measurement is performed. The Shannon information may then be assumed to measure the information necessary to reveal the property of an individual system of the ensemble given before measurements are performed. will eventually lead to contradiction. with the only exception being that of the system in an eigenstate of the measured observable. arrived at his famous expression. as theorems like those of Kochen-Specker [Kochen and Specker 1967] show. Can we find a measure of how much ”choice” is involved in the selection of the event or how uncertain we are of the outcome? If there is such a measure. These probabilities are known but that is all we know concerning which event will occur..” A good way to continue our discussion is by reviewing how Shannon.. and that alternative expressions should be rejected for that reason.. say H (p1 . because a quantum measurement. In classical physics.. Again this cannot be assumed in a quantum measurement.. important reason for preferring the Shannon measure is that it is the only one that satisfies . if carried far enough. changes the state of the system into a new state in a fundamentally unpredictable way. In fact.2 An Axiomatic Approach An important reason for preferring the Shannon measure of information in the literature lies in the fact that it is uniquely characterized by Shannon’s intuitively reasonable postulates... in quantum mechanics it is not possible. Therefore one expects that any deduction made from other information measures.

that H is introduced as an uncertainty about the outcome of an experiment based on a given probability distribution. 3 3 The coefficient 1 2 is the weighing factor introduced because this second choice occurs half the time. H should be continuous in the pi . Figure taken from [Shannon. 1 2.5: Decomposition of a choice from three possibilities. the last postulate might appear to have no immediate intuitive . of course. pi = n . the original H should be the weighted sum of the individual values of H . We now turn to the discussion of Shannon’s postulates. 2 3 6 =H 1 1 1 + H . If a choice be broken down into two successive choices. The meaning of this is illustrated in Fig.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information .. It is clear from the way Shannon formulated the problem. 2 2 2 2 1 ..” Shannon then shows that only the function (1. 1949]. 1. 3 3 The final results have the same probabilities as before. While the first two postulates are purely qualitative and natural for every meaningful measure of information. that H 1 1 1 . we may think of H as the amount of information that is gained by the performance of the experiment. . Thus. removed when the experiment is performed and its actual outcome becomes known.4) satisfies all three postulates. On the right we first choose between two possibilities each with probability 1 2 . At the left we have three possibilities p1 = 1 2. of course. With equally likely events there is more choice. 1 1 p2 = 3 . and if the second occurs make another choice 1 with probabilities 2 . in this special case. or uncertainty. when there are more possible events. If all the pi are equal.5. 1 2 2 3 1 3 1 2 1 3 1 6 23 1 2 1 3 1 6 1 2 Figure 1. 3. We require.1. The uncertainty arises. . it the following properties: 1. because the probability distribution does not enable us to predict exactly what the actual outcome will be. then H should be a monotonic increasing function of n. This uncertainty is. p3 = 6 . .

The third Shannon postulate originally formulated as an example was reformulated as an exact rule by Faddeev [1957]: For every n ≥ 2 H (p1 . pn pn (1. . . an and the information gained in the conditional experiment with outcomes b1 or b2 . pn )+ pn H where pn = q1 + q2 .4) but has no further physical significance. p(an ∧ b1 ). q1 . . an−1 . . Denote the probabilities of outcomes an ∧ b1 and an ∧ b2 by q1 and q2 ..... .6) is merely a mathematical expression which is certainly necessary for the uniqueness of the function (1.. m outcomes bj of the conditional experiment B and mn outcomes . pn ) to represent the amount of information that is gained by the performance of the experiment. (1. . This interpretation implies that the third postulate can be rewritten as q1 q2 . . an−1 . the conditional probabilities for q1 q2 b1 and b2 are p and p respectively and the amount of information gained n n q1 q2 by the performance of the conditional experiment is H p .. an ∧ b1 . decompose event an into two distinct events an ∧ b1 and an ∧ b2 (”∧” denotes ”and”.. .. q1 ..6) H (p(a1 ). an and H (p1 .. an ∧ b2 equals the sum of the information gained in the experiment with outcomes a1 .. Hence the n pn recursion requirement states that the information gained in the experiment with outcomes a1 . Now.. respectively. an ∧ b1 .. pn−1 . Without physical interpretation the recursion postulate (1. q2 ) of Eq.. When the outcome an occurs...7) Here p(bi |an ) i = 1.. pn−1 . . ... p(b2 |an )). 2 denotes the conditional probability for outcome an given the outcome bi occurred and p(an ∧bi ) denotes the joint probability that outcome an ∧ bi occurs. pn−1 . Then the left-hand side H (p1 .6) represents the amount of information that is gained by the performance of the experiment with outcomes a1 . p(an−1 ). (1..24 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment appeal. . Assume the possible outcomes of the experiment to be a1 .. given that the outcome an occurred with probability pn . q2 ) = H (p1 .. p(an ))+ p(an )H (p(b1 |an ). ... p(an ∧ b1 ) = p(an )p(b1 |an ) and p(an ∧ b2 ) = p(an )p(b2 |an ).. thus a ∧ b denotes a joint event). an ∧ b2 ... [Jaynes. where p(an ) = p(an ∧ b1 ) + p(an ∧ b2 ). 1990]. 1996]. If we analyze the generalized situation with n outcomes ai of the first experiment A.. p(an ∧ b2 )) = H (p(a1 ). We adopt the following well-known interpretation [Uffink. p(an−1 ).

In such of view it would be possible to define Shannon’s information for all attributes of the system simultaneously. or the path of the system and the position of appearance in the interference pattern in the double-slit experiment.8) where H (B |A) = n j p(aj )H (b1 |aj . here ai . Consequently. or the spin values along orthogonal directions. like position and momentum.8) necessary for uniqueness of Shannon’s measure of information is not well-defined in quantum mechanics when A and B are measurements of mutually complementary attributes.. . According to that view. Also..2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . the Shannon measure loses its preferential status with respect to alternative expressions when applied to define information gain in quantum measurements.1. bj and ai ∧ bj . In conclusion. in classical measurements it is always possible to assign to a system simultaneously attributes corresponding to all possible measurements. the interaction between measuring apparatus and classical system can be thought to be made arbitrarily small so that the experimental determination of A has no influence on our possibility to predict the outcomes of the possible future experiment B . the information expected from the joint experiment A ∧ B is simply the sum of the information expected from the first experiment A and the conditional information of the second experiment B with respect to the first. In fact. 25 ai ∧ bj of the joint experiment A ∧ B . complementarity between interference pattern and information about the path of the system in the double-slit experiment arises from the fact that any attempt to observe the particle path would be associated with an uncontrollable disturbance of the particle. (1. Yet.. and the third Shannon postulate would be violated because of the unavoidable disturbance of the system occurring whenever the subsequently measured property B is incompatible with the previous one A.. bm |aj ) is the average of information gained by observation B given that the conditional outcome aj occurred weighted by probability p(aj ) for aj to occur. Such a disturbance in itself would then be the reason for the loss of the interference pattern.. It is essential to note that the recursion postulate is inevitably related to the manner in which we gain information in a classical measurement. Here a certain misconception might be put forward that arises from a certain operational point of view. as predicted by Eq. In contrast we know that in a quantum measurement it is not possible to assign to a system simultaneously complementary attributes. for example. this is a misconception not only because it . we may then rewrite the recursion postulate in a short form as H (A ∧ B ) = H (A) + H (B |A) (1.8). Therefore Shannon’s crucial third postulate (1.

It will be decreased unless A and B are independent events. In his work Shannon [1949] offers a list of properties to substantiate that H is a reasonable measure of information. [Greenberger et al. H (B ) ≥ H (B |A). 1. so that the amount of information gained by the observation of A followed by the observation of B is equivalent to the amount of information gained from the observation of B followed by the observation of A H (A) + H (B |A) = H (B ) + H (A|B )..e. The uncertainty of a joint event is less than or equal to the sum of the individual uncertainties”.1).9) The uncertainty of B is never increased by knowledge of A.26 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment was shown [Bell..10) This is an immediate consequence of the recursive postulate which can be obtained when we write the recursion postulate in two different ways . 1989. (1. The total amount of information gained in successive measurements is independent of the order in which it is acquired. Information is indifferent on the order of acquisition. in which case it is not changed” (we have changed Shannon’s notation to coincide with that of our work). We will show that the two requirements are violated by the information gained in quantum measurements. He continues further in the text: ”.. 1990] that it is in principle impossible to assign to a quantum system simultaneously observation-independent properties (which in order to be in agreement with special relatively have to be local) but also because some experiments have already been performed [Herzog et al. we have H (A) + H (B ) ≥ H (A ∧ B ) = H (A) + H (B |A). Hence. He writes: ”It is easily shown that H (A ∧ B ) ≤ H (A) + H (B ) with equality only if the events are independent (i. Every new observation reduces our ignorance and increases our knowledge. p(ai ∧bj ) = p(ai )p(bj )). (1. 2. 1.. 1964]. 1995] where the reason why no interference pattern arises is not due to an uncontrollable disturbance of the quantum system (see also Sec. We next introduce two requirements that are immediate consequences of Shannon’s postulate and in which all the probabilities that appear are welldefined in quantum mechanics.

) = 1 bit for the white balls. A box is filled with balls of different compositions (plastic and wooden balls) and different colors (black and white balls). In a conditional drawing we ask about the color of the drawn ball and gain Hwo (color) = 0 bits for wooden balls and Hpl (color) = 0.6.7). Now.e.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . Now. The total information gained is independent on the order of the two questions asked. An explicit example for a sequence of classical measurements is given in Fig. only a certain small number of randomly polarized incoming photons would be with horizontal polarization. respectively. at +45◦ . In Fig. We gain Hbl (comp. Subsequently.) = 0. we put the black and white balls in separate boxes. depending on whether the observation of A is followed by the observation of B or vice versa.. F and F↔ are oriented vertically.5. Filters F . and can be placed so as to intersect the beam of photons (Fig. The outgoing photons are now all with vertical polarization.) = H (comp. the intensity of the outgoing beam drops to zero.1. and horizontally respectively. Insertion of filters F and F↔ correspond to the measurements of A polarization at +45◦ and B horizontal polarization. Notice that the function of filter F cannot be explained as a ”sieve” that only lets those photons pass that are already with horizontal polarization in the incoming beam. Are these two requirements satisfied by information gained in quantum measurements? Consider a beam of randomly polarized photons.) = 0 bits for the black balls and Hwh (comp. H (color)+1/2Hbl (comp. so we would expect a much larger attenuation of the intensity of the beam as it passes the filter.)+ 1/2Hwh(comp. i.6: Indifference of information to the order of its acquisition in classical measurements.. None of the photons with vertical polarization can pass through the . If that were the case. 1. We firstly ask about the composition of the drawn ball and gain H (comp. when filter F↔ is inserted behind the filter F . the box is shaken. 1. In Fig a) we first draw a ball asking about the color of the drawn ball and gain H (color) = 1 bit of information.)+1/4Hwo(color)+3/4Hpl(color) = 1.81 bit. b) we pose the two questions in the opposite order. If we insert filter F the intensity at the detection plate will be half of the intensity of the incoming beam. white plastic ball 11 00 white wooden ball 00 11 black plastic ball 1/2 black composition 1 plastic 1/2 wood composition 11 00 00 11 0 wood 1/4 wood 0 black 27 1 0 color 0 1 1 0 color 1 white 2/3 black composition 00 11 1/2 white 1 0 1 0 0 1 3/4 plastic color a) 1/2 plastic b) 1/3 white Figure 1. draw a ball from each box separately and ask about the composition of the drawn ball.92 bits for the plastic balls.

Now.7a (this.8. imagine after F↔ we insert the filter F in Fig. 1. Classical experience suggests that the addition of a filter should only be able to decrease the intensity of the beam getting through. Here we have an effect which cannot be explained by a sieve model.7: New observation (of polarization at ±45◦ ) reduces our knowledge (of the vertical/horizontal) polarization) at hand from a previous observation. Consequently. 1. In that case. Here acquisition of information about the polarization of the photon at ±45◦ leads to a decrease of our knowledge about vertical/horizontal polarization of the photon. at +45◦ and horizontally. respectively.e. H (B ) = 0. i. acquisition of information about the polarization of the photon at 45◦ leads to a decrease of our knowledge about horizontal polarization of the photon implying H (B |A) > 0. Filters F . Now. a certain number of photons that passed through F↑ will also pass through F↔ . 1. does not make any essential change compared with the situation without the additional filter). adding a new filter will always reduce the intensity of the beam. Another independent example where requirement (1. no photons are observed at the detector plate. a certain number of photons will be observed at the detection plate. 0 = H (B ) + H (A|B ) = H (A) + H (B |A) > 0. horizontal filter as shown in Fig. i. a). After filter F is inserted between F and F↔ (Fig. In this case we have complete knowledge of the property B .7a. In a sieve model where the filter does not change the object. Now.10).e. 1. F and F↔ are oriented vertically. exactly 1 4 of the intensity of the beam passed through F↑ as shown in Fig.9). after filter F is inserted between F and F↔ . 1. Therefore.10) is violated is given in Fig.7b. information gained in the sequence BA in Fig. In that case we have complete knowledge of the vertical/horizontal polarization of the photon. 1. a certain intensity will be visible at the detection plate. of course. thus violating the requirement (1.28 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Figure 1. b).7b. For completeness we note that a classical wave model can explain . Notice that a ”sieve” model where F (F↔ ) only lets those photons pass that have already horizontal (vertical) polarization in the incoming beam could explain this behaviour. If filter F→ is inserted behind the filter F (Fig. 0 = H (B ) ≤ H (B |A) > 0 which clearly violates requirement (1. We may consider this new experimental situation as a sequence of measurements BA.7a differs from the information gained in the sequence AB in Fig.

In quantum physics the maximal information. 2 ) = 1 we gain in the first measurement in Fig. a quantum measurement can decrease our knowledge collected from previous measurements. b). sin2 α/2) and H ( 1 2 . the state vector represents that information which is necessary to arrive at the maximum possible set of probabilistic prediction for all possible future observations of the system.. Specifically for α → 0 we have complete knowledge about spin along the direction at the angle α in Fig. In fact. 1 b). Spin along the x-axis and spin along the direction in the x-z plane tilted at an angle α from the z-axes are successively measured. In our example if measurement by filter F↑ results in vertical polarization.8: Dependence of information on the order of its acquisition in successive quantum measurements. a) and in Fig. is never complete in the sense that all possible future measurement results are precisely defined. b). In our explicit example the state vector of the polarization of a photon can be expressed as |ψ = a| + b| ↔ (a and b are complex numbers) in the basis of vertical | and horizontal | ↔ polarization. b) respectively.. In contrast to the sieve model where adding a new filter just add some new knowledge of the object and never decrease our knowledge at hand from the previous measurements.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . Yet. can be significantly different. then the state changes . a) but absolutely no knowledge about the spin along the x-axis in Fig. the increase of the intensity of the wave transmitted through the filters. The probability to observe vertical polarization is |a|2 and the probability to observe horizontal polarization is |b|2 . This originates from the distinction between ”maximal” and ”complete” information in quantum physics. Measurement of vertical/horizontal polarization will change the state to an eigenstate associated with the result of the measurement. Whereas we obtain an equal portion H (cos2 (π/4 − α/2).1. the amounts of information H (cos2 α/2. sin2 (π/4 − α/2)) of information in the conditional (subsequent) measurement both in Fig. represented by the state vector. a) and opposite to that in Fig. a) and in the first measurement in Fig. we do not hesitate to emphasize that it certainly is complete in the sense that it is not possible to have more information about a system than what can be specified in its quantum state. We emphasize that we do not assume any specific functional dependence for the measure of information H . in the order in Fig. 29 Figure 1. In classical physics the maximal information about a system is complete. A spin-1/2 particle is in the state |z + spin-up along the zaxis.

A photon passing through F changes the state 1 from | to | = √ (| + | ↔ ). As before. and the nature of each one of these constituents could be specified quite independently Translated: ”In the case of indefiniteness of a property of a system for a certain experimental arrangement (for a certain state of the system) any attempt to measure that property destroys (at least partially) the influence of earlier knowledge of the system on (possibly statistical) statements about later possible measurement results. 1. Thus. this photon will pass F↔ with a probability of 1/2. We will show that for a quantum system the total information defined according to Shannon’s measure does not have these properties. a photon passing through F with the state | will pass filter F with a probability of 1/2. the probability for a photon to pass the sequence of filters F F↔ is 1/4 implying H (B |A) = 0. After the measurement the old summary of the observer’s information is at least partially lost and a new one.7a implying H (B ) = 0. (mindestend teilweise) den Einfluß der fr¨ uheren Kenntnisse vom System auf die (eventuell statistischen) Aussagen u ¨ber sp¨ atere m¨ ogliche Messungsergebnisse.30 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment to | ↑ and when the polarization is measured again with respect to the same basis by F↔ .2. established to be in accord with the change of the state. Thus. it will return vertical polarization with probability one. Such a view was assumed by Pauli [1958] who writes6 : ”Bei Unbestimmtheit einer Eigenschaft eines Systems bei einer bestimmten Anordnung (bei einem bestimmten Zustand des Systems) vernichtet jeder Versuch.56.” 6 . the quantum state normally changes in a measurement process into one of the new states defined by the measurement apparatus. no photon will have the property of horizontal polarization as indicated in Fig. Such a property can be. Being a summary representation of the observer’s in general probabilistic predictions for future observations. indicating gain of the new knowledge 2 ◦ (about polarization at ±45 ) at the expense of unavoidable and irrecoverable loss of the prior knowledge (about vertical/horizontal polarization). die betreffende Eigenschaft zu messen. 1.7b. for example.” 1. In Fig. and so 50% of the photons will pass through F . invariance of the total information content of the system under variation of modes of observation or conservation of the total information in time if there is no information exchange with an environment. The classical world appears to be composed of particles and fields. is indifferent to the knowledge collected from the previous measurements in the whole history of the system.3 A Physical Approach A specific measure of information becomes a meaningful concept in physics only when it can be characterized by the properties which naturally follow from the physics considered.

12) is widely accepted as a suitable definition for an information content of a quantum system.10) we may write Htotal(r.) considered and conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment7 . Also. 31 of the particular phenomenon discussed or of the experimental procedure a physicist chooses. etc. 9 The operator f (ˆ ρ) is identified by having the same eigenstates as ρ ˆ and the eigenvalues ˆ. that is. t) over the phase space the total lack of information of a classical system is defined by [Jaynes. f (wj ). or angle and angular momentum.. However. p. any concept introduced in classical physics is totally noncontextual. µ(r.11) 7 where a background measure µ(r. Here. it is invariant under the change of the representation (basis) of ρ ˆ and also conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment. 8 In full analogy with (1. That Neumann entropy is invariant under unitary transformations ρ ˆ→ U ˆU is. t) . p) = H (r ) + H (p|r ) = H (p) + H (r|p).. For a system described in N -dimensional Hilbert space this ranges from log N for a completely mixed state up to 0 for a pure state. In quantum physics any concept is limited to the description of phenomena taking place within some well-defined experimental context. p. always restricted to a specific experimental procedure the physicist chooses. This implies the question: How to define the total information content of a quantum system if in order to be in reasonable agreement with common sense it has to be invariant under variation of modes of observation and conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment? For a given density matrix ρ ˆ the von Neumann entropy S (ˆ ρ) = −T r (ˆ ρ log ρ ˆ) (1. p.1. we observe that any function9 of the form T r (f (ˆ ρ)) can possess these We discuss this in detail in Appendix A. we note that given the probability distribution ρ(r. Operationally the total information content of a classical system can be obtained in the joint measurement of position and momentum. In particular. 1962] Htotal(t) = − d3 rd3 pρ(r.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information . or in successive measurements in which the observation of position is followed by the observation of momentum or vice versa8 . the total information content of a classical pointlike system (with no rotation and inertial degrees of freedom) defined as Shannon’s information associated with the probability distribution over the phase space is independent of the specific set of variables (such as position and momentum. the von ˆρ ˆ + . t) log ρ(r.1. p) (1. equal to the function values taken at the eigenvalues wj of ρ . The conservation of Htotal in time for a system with no information exchange with an environment is implied by the Hamiltonian evolution of a point in the phase space. p) is an additional ingredient that has to be added to the formalism to ensure invariance under variable change when we consider continuous probability distributions. In other words.

e. However. if we perform the optimal experiments both at time t0 and at some future time t. the Shannon’s information measures associated to the optimal experiments at the two times H (t) = − i wi (t) log wi (t) = − i wi log wi = H (t0 ) (1. because information gained in successive quantum measurements depends on the order of its acquisition (see Fig. This suggests that any attempt to obtain the total information content of a quantum system has to be related to the specific set of different possible experiments performed on an ensemble of equally prepared systems. We also observe that the von Neumann entropy is a property of the quantum state as a whole without explicit reference to information contained in individual measurements. The question arises: How to define and how to obtain information content of a quantum system operationally? Here we ask precisely: What set of individual measurements should we perform and how to combine individual measures of information gained in different individual measurements to arrive at the total information content of a quantum system? We observe that. which minimizes Shannon’s information.32 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment properties for a suitably defined function f and can. The corresponding Shannon information is then equal to the von Neumann entropy. That is. Here. (1. How are individual measures of information obtained in different individual experiments related to the total information carried by a quantum system? It can be shown that the optimal experiment.13) Clearly this is invariant under unitary transformations. H =− i wi log wi = −T r (ˆ ρ log ρ ˆ). without the additional knowledge of the eigenbasis of the density . the eigenvalues of the density matrix at time t are wi (t). i. information carried by a quantum system cannot be obtained through a set of successive measurements in a consistent way. therefore. serve as indices of the measure of the information content of a system.8 and discussion above). 1.14) will be the same. unlike the classical case. is the one which corresponds to the orthonormal basis |i formed by the eigenvectors of the density matrix ρ ˆ: ρ ˆ|i = wi |i . Again this implies invariance of H under the change of the representation basis of ρ ˆ and also its conservation in time if there is no information exchange with an environment. For a quantum system in the state ρ ˆ different experiments correspond to different probabilities for possible outcomes and therefore to different Shannon information.

all the statistical predictions that can be made for the optimal measurement are the same as if we had an ordinary (classical) mixture. If we choose another set of mutually complementary observations. In this sense the optimal measurement is a classical type measurement and therefore in this particular case. (1’) polarization along the direction at an angle ±φ with respect to the vertical direction. Htotal is not equal for each polarization state of the same purity. For example. (2) polarization at +45◦ /−45◦ .. It is thus not surprising that Shannon’s measure is useful only when applied to measurements which can be understood as classical measurements. e. (2’) polarization along the direction at an angle . (2) and (3) and obtain Htotal = H1 + H2 + H3 θ θ θ θ = cos2 log cos2 + sin2 log sin2 2 2 2 2 1 − sin θ 1 − sin θ 1 + sin θ 1 + sin θ + log + log 2 2 2 2 (1. Our result clearly depends on the parameter θ and thus is not invariant under unitary transformations. Shannon’s measure defines the information gain in a measurement appropriately.g. Htotal is not specified by the polarization state alone but depends on the particular set of mutually complementary observations. This further associates certain features with our candidate Htotal for the total information carried by the photon’s polarization that strongly disagrees with our intuitive appeal. Also. and only then. Firstly. and (3) left/right circular polarization is a complete set of mutually complementary measurements for photon’s polarization.. Secondly. Consider a photon’s polarization state |ψ = cos θ | + sin θ | ↔ . a set of measurements of (1) vertical/horizontal polarization.15) for the total Shannon information carried by the photon’s polarization. We summarize individual measures of Shannon’s information for the mutually complementary observations (1). 33 matrix ρ ˆ we cannot find the optimal experiment and determine experimentally the Shannon information associated. Again the question arises: How to combine individual measures of information obtained in different individual measurements in order to arrive at the information content of a quantum system if the individual measurements are incompatible with the density operator (non-optimal measurements)? One may be tempted to define the total information content of a quantum system in a constructive fashion. namely as a sum of individual measures of information over a complete set of mutually complementary experiments.1. with fractions wi of the systems giving with certainty results that are associated to the eigenvectors |i .. These are experiments with the property that complete knowledge of the outcome in one of the experiments excludes any knowledge of the outcomes in others.2 Conceptual Inadequacy of the Shannon Information .

Suppose now that the observer wants to determine the actual state. n2 and n3 denote three unit vectors defined in a plane separated by angles of 120◦ . The spin-1/2 particle can be prepared in one of three states |ψi defined above. can be thought of as being objectively present before the measurement is performed. The observer is not told which one of the states is actually implemented. Suppose that there is a set of different possible preparations of the initial state and that the a priori probabilities for the different preparations are known to the observer. And thirdly. Investigating three different approaches to the concept of Shannon’s information we argued that these difficulties arise whenever it is not possible. and these three preparations have equal a priori probability. The value of H is reduced to log 2 = 1 .e H = log 3. Htotal is not conserved in time for a system isolated from its environment completely. to assume that attributes observed are assigned to the system before the observation is performed. and leaving equal a posteriori probabilities for the two others. Which one of these states is actually prepared? Since the states are not orthogonal the answer cannot be unambiguous. so that the actual information gain is log(3/2). the total information carried by photon’s polarization might not be the same (it depends on the particular value of the angle φ). not even in principle. The procedure giving the maximal possible information (that is reducing H as much as possible) is obtained in a POVM (positive-operator-valued measurement) by ruling out one of the three allowed states.34 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment ±(φ + 45◦ ) with respect to the vertical direction. Let n1 . there are.3). i. In this section we have stressed some conceptual difficulties arising when we apply Shannon’s notion of information to define information gain in a quantum measurement. We briefly review an explicit example analyzed by Peres [1995]. and (3’) left/right circular polarization. Consider a spin-1/2 particle and define normalized states |ψi by σ ˆ ni |ψi = |ψi (i=1. in principle.2. Here the observer’s ignorance about the possible prepared states can be quantified by Shannon’s measure of information because the possible states. The question arises: Are there other physical situations where the use of Shannon’s measure of information might be justified in quantum mechanics? Obviously. .

1. In making her prediction she has only a limited number of systems to work with.17) 10 We are ignorant about different possible orders of individual outcomes because. In general. PN (n) = (1.3 Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Quantum mechanics is an intrinsically probabilistic description of Nature. which specific outcome occurs is objectively random. say.. If it does not fire (the ”no” outcome) the other detector will fire with probability q = 1 − p. 1. the number of occurrences of a specific outcome in N future repetitions of the experiment is not precisely predictable. in each experimental trial. Knowing the probabilities for the two outcomes to occur all an experimenter can predict is how many times a specific detector fires. the experiment is over. the particular ordered sequence of results ”yes”.16) The various different permutations of the sequence are independent events. because of the statistical fluctuations associated with any finite number of experimental trials. where only one detector fires at a time. We define a new measure of information for an individual measurement which is based on the fact that the probabilistic predictions an experimentalist can make have no empirical significance for any individual experiment but only as predictions about the number of occurrences of a specific outcome in future repetitions of the experiment. in quantum measurement the particular order of individual outcomes is not defined before the experiment is performed. Consider a stationary experimental arrangement with two detectors.. .e. i.”no”. (1.2).3 Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment 35 1. In contrast. classical measurements reveals pre-existing properties of individual systems and therefore the particular sequence of individual outcomes is of importance. Then. Detector 1. and so we can add their probabilities to obtain10 N n pn (1 − p)N −n . When exactly one detector has fired. Examples would be the Stern-Gerlach experiment with a spin-1/2 particle or an interference experiment with an interferometer of the Mach-Zehnder type. ”yes” containing ”yes” exactly n times and ”no” exactly N − n times occurs with probability p · (1 − p) · (1 − p) · · · p = pn (1 − p)N −n . In N independent experimental trials. fires (we call this the ”yes” outcome) with probability p. All an experimentalist can know before a quantum experiment is performed are the probabilities for all possible outcomes to occur.”no” . Information that is gained about a particular sequence observed is adequately defined by Shannon’s measure of information (see Sec.

19) In fact.19) is small. then each term in the sum in Eq. (1.9 the probability of 9 ”yes” outcomes in 10 trials is 0. In other words. large deviations of the number of occurrences of the ”yes” outcome from the mean pN are improbable.36 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment the probability that from N independent experimental trials we observe n times ”yes” and N − n times ”no”. k2 (1.5. before the experiments are performed and their outcomes Since the binomial distribution has a finite deviation. it fulfills Chebyshev’s inequality [Gnedenko. a large variance indicates that not all highly probable values of n lie near the mean pN . if an observer just plans to perform the experiment N times. 1976] (pN − σ. An experimenter’s uncertainty11 . in the case of small σ . (1. that the number of ”yes” outcomes will be the one with highest probability. This is known as the binomial distribution [Gnedenko. The arbitrary confidence parameter k only makes sense for k > 1. In that case experimenter knows much less about the future number of occurrences. but with one where p = 0. This inequality is the strongest one possible for probability distributions having a finite deviation. It is a peculiar feature of the binomial distribution. 1976] N n=1 σ 2 := PN (n)(n − pN )2 = p(1 − p)N.20) Therefore. 1976]. which is nmax ≈ pN . With an inner probability of p = 0.18) 11 This inequality means that the probability that n will deviate from the product pN by more than k deviations is less than or equal to 1/k2 . the confidence interval within which the number of occurrences of the ”yes” outcome can be found in 68% of cases is given as [Gnedenko. Conversely.5. the probability of success still depends on p. pN + σ ). . the probability of 5 ”yes” outcomes in 10 trials is only 0. in the value n is given by the mean-square-deviation defined as the expectation of the square of the deviation of n from the mean value pN [Gnedenko. he knows in advance. or lack of information. although more stringent ones can be given for the present case of the binomial distribution. For a sufficiently large number N of experimental trials. Note that if one bets on a specific result.g. In this case an experimenter knows the future number of occurrences with a high certainty. (1. that the future number of occurrences is less specified when p is around 0. e. A value n for which |n − pN | is large must therefore have a small probability PN (n). 1976]: Prob{|n − pN | > kσ } ≤ 1 .39. if σ is small.25.

Consider now an experiment with three possible outcomes a1 .3 Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment 37 Figure 1. p2 .20) (see Fig. p1 + p2 p1 + p2 . become known. when the outcome a1 ∨ a2 occurs the measure of experimentalist’s lack of information about the number of occurrences of a1 (a2 ) given the outcome a1 ∨ a2 did occur is σ 2 (a1 .19).9). He could.9: The probability to observe n occurrences of the ”yes” outcome in future N repetitions of the experiment as a function of n. a2 and a3 whose probabilities of occurrence are p1 . a further lack of information can be expected. Namely. There is a method by which an observer can decompose this 3-fold alternative into binary alternatives and then apply the measure of information (1. 1. further ask for the number of occurrences of the outcome a1 (a2 ). a2 |a1 ∨ a2 ) = p2 p1 N (p1 + p2 ). and then whenever the outcome a1 ∨ a2 occurs. In a sufficiently large number N the confidence interval within which the number of occurrences of the ”yes” outcome can be found in 68% of the cases is given by root-mean-square-deviation σ . In the first phase of this method the measure of the experimentalist’s lack of information about the number of future occurrences of the outcome a1 ∨ a2 in N experimental trials is given by σ 2 (a1 ∨ a2 . a3 ) = (p1 + p2 )p3 N. consider the two outcomes a1 and a2 as one single outcome a1 ∨ a2 that occurs with probability p1 + p2 and the outcome a3 as an exclusive outcome that occurs with probability p3 = 1 − p1 + p2 .1. The observer may now first ask for the number of occurrences of the outcome a1 ∨ a2 (a3 ) in N future experimental trials. that the number of future occurrences of the ”yes” outcome will be found with probability 68% within the confidence interval (1. and p3 . For the cases in which the second phase of the method must be carried out. for example.

a3 ) + (p1 + p2 )σ 2 (a1 . This is the lack of information with respect to a single future experimental trial. that it is a function of a sum of the squares of probabilities. . a2 . a2 |a1 ∨ a2 ) = (p1 p2 + p1 p3 + p2 p3 )N. This property guarantees that each individual performance of the experiment contributes the same amount of information gain. an ) = N n n 1 1− p2 i 2 i=1 U (p) := pi pj = i<j (1.. a3 ) = σ 2 (a1 ∨ a2 . The second phase of the method is conditional and is only expected to occur a fraction p1 + p2 of the time. the expected measure of the experimentalist’s lack of information UN (a1 . (1. with respect to a single future experimental trial an experimentalist possesses before the experiment is performed is somehow the complement of U (p) and. This can easily be generalized for n possible outcomes a1 . an ) = i<j pi pj N.. A first ansatz might be n I (p) = i=1 p2 i. Also note that the number of future experimental trials where the second phase of the method has to be carried out is (p1 + p2 )N ..22) is proportional to the number of experimental trials. an whose probabilities to occur are p = (p1 .. a2 . furthermore. . the experimenter’s lack of information therefore decreases by the same amount UN (a1 .. or information.24) ... After each experimental trial.38 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment Note that the conditional probabilities for a1 and a2 given that a1 ∨ a2 did p2 1 occur are p1p +p2 and p1 +p2 respectively..22) Notice that the experimenter’s lack of information (1. in total. pn ) to n (1.. .. Thus. The definition of U (p) suggests that the knowledge...21) UN (a1 . (1.23) of information. a3 ) with respect to the number of occurrences of the three outcomes in N future repetitions of experiment is UN (a1 .. no matter how many times the experiment has already been performed.

3 Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment 39 Expressions of such a general type were studied in detail by Hardy et. qm ) are two probability distributions and r = (r11 . 0 ≤ a ≤ 1).26) In fact.25) 4. 3... one loses the information from which ensemble a particular sample comes. 1.. rij = pi qj ..28) Note that both Shannon’s information H (p) = lim Hα (p) α→0 (1. I (p) is continuous in pj and attains its maximal value of unity only when all the pj but one are zero. pn ) and q 2 = (q1 ..e. i.1. (1. . . . For example.. . These expressions are also related to R´ anyi’s [1961] entropy Hα (p) = − log Mα (p) = n 1 pα log i. i. this one having the value unity.29) . and therefore the measure of information decreases I (r ) ≤ aI (p) + (1 − a)I (q ). al [1952] and Uffink [1990] who list several properties to substantiate that I (p) is a reasonable measure of information. The minimal value of 1/n is reached only when the probability is uniformly distributed over all possible outcomes... one has I (r ) = I (p)I (q ). (1.. .27) that from the point view of information theory all can be assumed to quantify information properly... 2. I (p) is invariant under a re-labeling of the set of possible outcomes. Our newly introduced measure of information I (p) may then be seen as a specific case for α = 2. when pj = 1/n for all j . [1952] introduced a general class of mathematical expressions n α−1 Mα (p) = i=1 pα i for 0≤α≤∞ (1... If two ensembles specified by probability distributions p = (p1 . rnm ) is their independent product.. pn ) and q = (q1 . Hardy et al.. qn ) are joined together (in mathematical language this is described by a convex combination rj = apj + (1 − a)qj . 1−α i=1 (1.e. When p = (p1 .

) is the sum of the uncertainties about mutually independent outcomes − log I (r ) = − log I (p) − log I (q ). Therefore we suggest to normalize the measure of information in an individual quantum measurement as obtaining finally [Brukner and Zeilinger. (1.. Notice that the expression (1. Then. 2 I (p) = 2 i=1 2 p2 i − 1 = (p1 − p2 ) for n = 2.. 2k k k 2 −1 2k i=1 2 I (p) = pi − 1 2k . (1.30) may then be seen as special cases of R´ anyi’s entropy.32) Then I (p) results in k bits of information if one pi = 1 and it results in 0 bits of information when all pi are equal. Obviously. n = 2k .1/n) in probability space.e.. the minimum length of p is given when all pi are equal (pi = 1/n). because of i pi = 1.. the expression − log I (p) is alternatively seen as an adequate measure of uncertainty in an individual measurement. Such a normalized measure of information is directly related to the Euclidean distance between the actual probability distribution vector (p1 . note that if.. not all vectors in probability space are possible. then the uncertainty about a joint outcome associated to the product distribution rij = pi qj (see above in 4. 1999(a)] n i=1 I (p) = N pi − 1 n 2 . This is justified since the uniform distribution gives no information whatever for preferring one outcome over another. Indeed.40 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment and the minus logarithm of our newly proposed measure of information − log I (p) = H2 (p) (1.33) .. instead of I (p). we will consider the cases for n = 2 and n = 4 when maximally 1 bit and 2 bits of information are encoded. respectively.31) Considering from now on those cases where maximally k bits of information can be encoded. i.24) can also be viewed as describing the length of the probability vector p. i.. This corresponds to the situation of complete lack of information in an experiment.e. Specifically. the normalization is N = 2k k/(2k − 1).pn ) and the uniform distribution vector (1/n. Also.. (1.

namely by the general theory of probability. in probability this discussion evidently belongs to the theory of this quantity. If you predict that some physical quantity. a very subtle position was assumed by Weizs¨ acker [1975] who writes: ”It is most important to see that this [the fact that probability is not a prediction of the precise value of the relative frequency] is not a particular weakness of the objective empirical use of the concept of probability. But here are two differences which are connected to each other. as we will show in the next section. in quantum mechanics.” 12 . is fundamentally not precisely predictable12 . Given the probabilities for events to occur.3 Measure of Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment and 8 I (p) = 3 4 i=1 41 p2 i − 2 3 for n = 4. The second difference explains the first one.1. will have a certain value when measured. namely of probability itself. the concept of a probabilistic prediction of the future number of occurrences of outcomes is all an experimenter can predict in the open future which. the total information in a quantum system obtained by summing the individual measures of information over all possible complementary experiments turns out to be invariant under any change of the set of complementary observations. (1. The same statement applies to the empirical quantity called relative frequency. Most important. Here. say a temperature. All that is known before an experiment is performed are the probabilities for all possible events to occur. but a feature of the objective empirical use of any quantitative concept. in probability the dispersion is derived from the theory itself and depends on the absolute number of cases. The second difference: In other empirical quantities the discussion of their statistical distributions is done by another theory than the one to which they individually belong. This we interpret as strong evidence for the adequacy of our measure of information in defining the information gain in quantum measurements. The first difference: In other empirical quantities the dispersion of the distribution is in most cases an independent empirical property of the distribution and can be altered by more precise measurements of other devices.34) Quantum mechanics is an intrisically probabilistic description of nature. and it is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with the environment. this prediction also means its expection value within a statistical ensemble of measurements.

42 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System .

For example. These observations then completely exclude each other. Intuitively one expects that the total uncertainty or. phenomena under different experimental conditions. 1. One quantity. the total information carried by the system is invariant under such transformation from 43 . for example the z-component of spin.1) to be the total information content of a quantum system. equivalently. for a spin-1/2 particle.. We recall Bohr’s [1958] remark that ”.Chapter 2 Information Content of a Quantum System Having defined the measure of information for an individual quantum measurement we now ask what the total information content of a quantum system is. for example where the uncertainty in one component is reduced but the one in another component is increased correspondingly. might be well defined at the expense of maximal uncertainty about the other orthogonal components. The experimentalist may decide to measure a different set of complementary variables thus gaining certainty about one or more variables at the expense of losing certainty about other(s).31) over a complete set of m of mutually complementary observables m Itotal = Ij (p) j =1 (2.. In the case of spin this could be the projections along rotated directions. must be termed complementary in the sense that each is well defined and that together they exhaust all definable knowledge about the object concerned” and suggest the sum of the individual measures of information (Eq. measurements of three orthogonal components of spin form a complete set of mutually complementary observations.

e. 2. Unlike classical bits however. the analogue of the ordinary bit.1 A Qubit Carries One Bit A qubit is a ’quantum bit’. qubits can also be in a superposition of |0 and |1 such as a|0 + b|1 where a and b are complex numbers. information could also be distributed in joint properties of a multiparticle system (Sec.. Knowledge of the state of a quantum system permits the prediction of individual outcomes with certainty only for that limited class of experiments which have definite outcomes.g. |1 } (e. let us consider the state |ψ which is an eigen- . 2. That information content of the qubit will be obtained as a sum of individual information contents in a set of mutually complementary measurements. we will show that one qubit carries just one bit of information. The classical Boolean state. In Sec. Even though qubits can be put in a quantum superposition. Entanglement results from the fact that for composite systems. or heads or tails in tossing a coin.g. In particular. two polarization states of a photon or a spin 1/2-particle.2). can therefore be represented by a pair of orthogonal states |0 and |1 .1 we show that the total information defined according to our new measure has exactly that invariance property. thus having infinitely many more states. In Sec. maximal entanglement arises when the total information of a composite system is exhausted in specifying joint properties with no individual qubit carrying any information on its own. 2. 2. 0 and 1. 2.1. or two paths inside a Mach-Zehnder interferometer).3 we find that the total information of a system results in k bits of information for a system consisting of k qubits. a computer’s binary digit 1 or 0. To illustrate this point.1 Complementary Propositions Every reasonably well-designed experiment tests some proposition. The amount of 1 bit of information for the total information content will be invariant under the choice of the particular set of mutually complementary measurements and conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment.44 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System one complete set of complementary variables to another. The qubit is described by an unit vector in a two-dimensional Hilbert space with a chosen ”computational basis” {|0 . a situation where the corresponding propositions have definite truth values. Also it is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment.

1). Then each individual photon. What about the truth values of other propositions? From theorems like Kochen-Specker [1967] we know that in quantum mechanics it is not possible.1: A complete set of mutually exclusive measurements of a photon’s polarization. The information content of the photon can then be expressed as a truth value of the proposition: (1) ”The polarization of the photon is vertical”. Measurement for any other measurement basis when the Nicol prism is rotated to the angle θ with respect to the vertical axis must necessarily be probabilistic. a quarter-wave plate is inserted in front of the Nicol prism to observe circular polarization. to assign definite non-contextual truth values to all conceivable propositions. when it encounters the Nicol prism. Consider encoding information into the polarization of photons and suppose that a photon (by passing through a vertically oriented polarizing filter in Fig.1b). ”The polarization of the photon is +45 ◦ ” and ”The polarization of the photon is left circular”. This permits the prediction of individual outcomes with certainty only for the case when we actually perform a measurement in the vertical-horizontal polarization basis. not even in principle. Alternativelly. for θ = 45◦ . A photon from the source passes through the vertically oriented polarizer and trough a Nicol prism oriented at the angle θ with respect to the vertical direction.2. we obtain p = 1/2. Specifically. has exactly two probabilistic options: to pass straight through the prism or to be deflected in a specific way characteristic of the prism.1 One Qubit Carries One Bit 45 Figure 2. and then it hits one of the detector plates behind the Nicol prism. They are associated to the propositions: ”The polarization of the photon is vertical”.1) has vertical polarization. ˆ = |ψ ψ | with eigenvalue 1. that is |ψ ψ |ψ . c). 2. that is. 2. state of the projection operator P This simply means that the quantum system described by the state will be found with certainty in the state |ψ if it is measured with an appropriately designed apparatus. 2. the answer the experiment gives when we measure along that direction is completely random (Fig. Quantum theory predicts p(θ ) = cos2 (θ/2) for the probability to find the photon with vertical polarization (the upper detector plate is hit) along the direction at an angle θ of the orientation of the Nicol prism (Fig. in Fig. In .

2b).2a will be completely removed if we introduce an additional . The three mutually complementary propositions for the photon’s polarization have the property that complete knowledge of the truth value of any one of the propositions implies maximal uncertainty about the truth values of the others. we expect that there are always three mutually complementary propositions whenever binary alternatives are considered. i.” In contrast.1c). If we introduce an additional quarter-wave plate in front of the Nicol prism we will observe circular polarization and again the answer will be completely random (Fig. we will analyze mutually complementary propositions in an interference experiment with an idealized Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer (Fig. 2. 2.2a. 2.46 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System this extreme case we have absolutely no knowledge about the truth value of the proposition (2): ”The polarization of the photon is +45◦ ”.2). Also. we may have information about which path the particle took inside the interferometer. at the expense of complete uncertainty of the outgoing beam the particle takes. In this case we have complete knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter at the expense of the fact that we have absolutely no knowledge of which of the two paths the particle took inside the interferometer. the particle will exit with certainty towards the upper (lower) detector behind the beam splitter.e qubits. 2. In that case we know precisely the path of the particle inside the interferometer. In what follows. without absorbing the particle. In that case we are completely uncertain about the truth value of the proposition (3): ”The polarization of the photon is left circular”. if we insert detectors. Notice that both outgoing beams will be equally probable regardless of the phase shift between the two beams inside the interferometer. we assume equal path lengths between the mirrors and no absorption of either in-interferometer beam. being able to detect the particle without absorbing it. Suppose that in the presence of a specific phase shift φ between the two beams inside the interferometer in Fig.” Knowing that spin-1/2 affords a model of the quantum mechanics of all two-state systems. 2. it can easily be shown that even without path information our knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter in the arrangement in Fig. one each into each of two paths inside the interferometer (Fig. The state of the particle is now specified by the truth value of the proposition: ”The particle takes the upper path inside the interferometer. Indeed. We assume the two mirrors used for splitting and recombining the beams to be identical half-silvered mirrors. The interference phenomena then does not occur. The state of the particle is then represented by the truth value (true or false) of the proposition: ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in the presence of the phase shift φ.

and (3) ”The spin is up along φ + π/2 in the x-y plane”. (2) ”The spin is up along the z-axis”.2c both outgoing beams will be equally probable. Here.” Into each of the two paths of the interferometer in Fig. 2. phase shift of π/2 between the two beams inside the interferometer.2b one detector is inserted with the property that it detects the particle without absorbing it. The state of the system is now represented by the truth value of the proposition ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in the presence of the phase shift of φ+π/2”.” (2) ”The particle takes the upper path inside the interferometer. the particle will exit with certainty towards the upper (lower) detector in the arrangement in Fig.1 One Qubit Carries One Bit 47 Figure 2. 2. 2.2b) nor about the outgoing path in the arrangement in Fig. and ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards upper detector in presence of the phase shift of φ + π/2.2. Notice that we can label various sets of the 3 mutually complementary propositions by the value φ of the phase shift: (1) ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in presence of the phase shift of φ. suppose that in the presence of a specific phase shift φ + π/2. Next. in the new arrangement in Fig. 2. 2.2c. For a particle in that state we have complete knowledge of the outgoing beam the particle will take at the expense of absolutely no knowledge neither about the path inside the interferometer (Fig.2a. ”The particle takes the upper path inside the interferometer”. the direction φ is . They are associated with the following set of mutually complementary propositions: ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in presence of the phase shift of φ”.2: Principle sketch of mutually exclusive interference experiments with a Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer.” The 3 propositions we found for the interferometer are formally equivalent to the complementary propositions about spin-1/2: (1)”The spin is up along φ in the x-y plane”.” and (3) ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in presence of the phase shift of φ + π/2. Then.

[1987]. In order to quantify this intermediate situation of partial knowledge of three mutually exclusive types of information we make use of the new measure of information (1. and Englert [1996] for the interferometer.. that we can obtain some partial knowledge about the particle’s path and still observe an interference pattern of reduced contrast as compared to the ideal interference situation. They found for the double slit experiment and Zeilinger [1986]. Shimony and Vaidman [1995]. In related experiments. respectively. Jaeger et al. where the ket |D1 denotes the particle directed towards detector D 1. Consider a system in a state ρ ˆ represented in the basis of two paths |UP .2) respectively. this analogy can even be carried further using the concept of multiports. it is most useful to use the basis of the two beams |UP and |LP taking the upper and lower path inside the interferometer. Summhammer et al. Mittelstaedt at al. The evolution of the kets |UP and |LP is given by |UP |LP 1 → eiφ |UP → √ eiφ (|D2 + i|D1 ) 2 1 → √ (|D1 + i|D2 ).2 Invariant Information in a Qubit The situations discussed so far are just extreme cases of maximal knowledge of one proposition at the expense of complete ignorance about complementary propositions. [1982] and Rauch and Summhammer [1984] measured the interference contrast in an experiment with a partial absorber in one of the beams inside the interferometer and obtained full agreement with the quantum mechanical description. This is realized by a phase shift of φ in path 2 and a successive transformation at a symmetric half-silvered mirror beam splitter.1. Evidently. For the purpose of calculating probabilities for all possible outcomes of a complete set of mutually complementary quantities. 1. [1991]. Greenberger and Yasin [1988]. 2.33) introduced in Sec. Lahti et al. Therefore from now on we will explicitly discuss spin measurements only keeping in mind the applicability of these ideas for interference experiments. without completely destroying the interference pattern formed by the impingement of the particles on a screen. Wootters and Zurek [1979] found that measurements can be made to determine with high probability which slit each particle of the ensemble traversed.48 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System assumed to be by lying in the x-y plane oriented at an angle φ with respect to the x-axis. 2 (2. etc.3.

(2. The measure of information (Eq.7) as implying the fundamental and absolute upper limit on our total information about an individual system in quantum mechanics. We interpret expression (2. (2.7) This results in just 1 bit of information for a pure state when 1 single proposition with a definite truth value is assigned to the system. inserting φ + π 2 → φ in the previous expression we obtain the measure of information about the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter in the experimental arrangement of Fig.33) about the path the particle takes is − 2 2 I3 = (p+ z − pz ) = (ρ11 − ρ22 ) .2b to determine the path the particle takes. the specific notation for probabilities should remind us of the formal analogy with the spin case. 1999(a). Using the evolution transformations (2. 2. 49 (2. We find − 2 2 2 I2 = (p+ y − py ) = 4|ρ21 | cos (φ + α). ρ22 = LP|ρ|LP . px ) + I2 (py .5) Likewise.2c. (2. 2. ρ21 = LP|ρ|UP .6) We realize that the total information content of the system is [Brukner and Zeilinger.3) If we perform an experiment in Fig. the particle will either be found in the upper path with probability p+ z = − ρ11 or in the lower path with probability pz = ρ22 . Likewise. (2.4) Here.1 One Qubit Carries One Bit and |LP inside the interferometer ρ11 = UP|ρ|UP .2a may easily be calculated as p+ x = 2 (1 + 2|ρ21 | sin(φ + α)) for the beam 1 − D1 and px = 2 (1 − 2|ρ21 | sin(φ + α)) for the beam D 2. Now. 1. Here. the measure of information about the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter yields − 2 2 2 I1 = (p+ x − px ) = 4|ρ21 | sin (φ + α). py ) + I3 (pz . ρ12 = UP|ρ|LP . pz ) = 2T rρ − 1. 2.2. . we introduce ρ21 = |ρ21 |eiα .2) the probability to find the particle in a specific beam behind the beam splitter in the experimental arrangement in 1 Fig. 0 bits of information are reached for a completely mixed state when no proposition with definite truth value can be made about the system. 1999(c)] − + − + − 2 Itotal = I1 (p+ x .

50 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System Note that the total information content of a quantum system is completely specified by the state of the system alone and independent of the physical parameter φ (phase shift) that labels various sets of mutually complementary observations. y. Any Hermitian operator on a discrete N-dimensional Hilbert space can be expanded into the unit operator and the generators of the SU(N) algebra. Also. we can specify any density operator by the coefficient of these generators. T rP 2 (2. The Pauli matrices fulfill the relations T rσ ˆj = 0 and T rσ ˆiσ ˆj = 2δij . one may choose any set of mutually complementary propositions to represent our knowledge of the system and the total information about the system will be invariant under that choice. (2. which is real due to the hermicity of ρ ˆ. The vector s = (sx . sy . or the vector on the Poincare sphere. σ ˆy and σ ˆz . That is. observations associated with the three spin operators are mutually complementary. This results in 1 ± ˆ± ˆx T rP Py = . (2.. measurement results for spin along the y-axis and for spin along the z-axis will be completely random. T rP 2 1 ± ˆ± ˆy Pz = .11) is the mean-value of the spin component σ ˆj . if the system is in the state ρ ˆ= + ˆ Px = |x+ x + |. In the same spirit as choosing a coordinate system. This is the reason we may use the phrase ”the total information content” without explicitly specifying the particular reference set of mutually complementary propositions. In the case N = 2 the generators of SU(2) algebra are operators represented by the Pauli matrices.9) The density operator then has the representation 1ˆ 1 3 ρ ˆ= I + sj σ ˆj . Our consideration will now be generalized to show that the total information content of a quantum system is invariant under general unitary transformations. e. 2 1 ± ˆ± ˆx Pz = . We will use the formal equivalence with spin measurements. sz ) is the three-dimensional Bloch vector. z .10) (2. 2 2 j =1 where the factor 1/2 expresses the normalization condition T r ρ ˆ = 1 and − sj = T r ρ ˆσ ˆ j = p+ j − pj . Since any Hermitian operator on a discrete two-dimensional Hilbert space can be expanded into the unit operator and the Pauli matrices1 σ ˆx . 1 .g.8) where j = x.

2.e.8) and (2. pj ) = 2T rρ − 1.9) again.12) Using Eq. i. (2. We may then represent the density matrix into the new set of operators and the unity operator 1ˆ 1 3 ˆσ ˆ +. ˆσ (sj )2 = (T r ρ ˆU ˆj U (2.17) . pj ) + Iy (pj . pj ) + Iz (pj . − 2 + − (sj )2 = (T r ρ ˆσ ˆj )2 = (p+ j − pj ) = Ij (pj . j .e. clearly ˆ + )2 . U σ Pauli matrices. ρ ˆ= I ˆj U s U + 2 2 j =1 j Here.14) ˆσ ˆ + ˆ ˆy U ˆ + and U ˆ + to the ˆσ If we apply an unitary transformation U ˆ ˆz U xU .1 One Qubit Carries One Bit 51 Note that the square of the component sj of the Bloch vector is exactly − the measure of information Ij (p+ j .15) The ability to decompose the same density matrix into various sets of such operators implies that the total information of the system is completely independent of the particular set of mutually complementary observations (represented by ˆσ ˆ + ˆ ˆy U ˆ + and U ˆ + ) considered. (2.16) (2. U σ 3 j =1 3 j =1 Itotal = 2T rρ2 − 1 = s2 j = sj2 . pj ) = 2 2 j =1 2 2 j =1 2 2 (2. the resulting operators fulfill relations (2. (2. the resulting operators again represent mutually complementary observables and are also generators of the SU(2) algebra.8) we obtain 1 ˆ 1 3 1 sj T r σ ˆj + T rI + 4 2 j =1 4 =0 3 3 T rρ ˆ2 = si sj T r σ ˆi σ ˆj i=1 j =1 =2δij = 1 1 3 2 1 1 3 1 1 − sj = + Ij (p+ + + Itotal .13) or equivalently − + − + − 2 Itotal (ρ) = Ix (p+ j . i. pj ). pj ) about the experimental outcome of the measurement of the spin along direction j . ˆσ a particular set of operators U ˆ ˆz U xU . That is. (2.

.52 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System Now. 3. some future time is ρ ˆ(t) = U ˆ(t0 )U Since ˆρ ˆρ ˆ +U ˆ + = T rU ˆρ ˆ + = T rρ T rρ ˆ2 (t) = T r U ˆ(t0 )U ˆU ˆ2 (t0 )U ˆ2 (t0 ) (2.5). let ρ ˆ(t0 ) be the initial state of the system.18) we conclude that the total information content of the system is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with the environment. where U ˆ is an unitary transformation. A system is dynamically independent from the environment when the influence of the environment on the system does not change with a change of the state of the system (there is no back-reaction from the system on the environment). that is. if the system is dynamically independent from the environment and not exposed to a measurement. A concrete example for dynamically dependent particles are interacting single particles in an entangled pair of particles (see Sec. A time evolved state at ˆρ ˆ + .

3.” (C) ”Particle 1 takes the upper outgoing path in presence of the phase shift φ1 + π/2” and ”Particle 2 takes the upper outgoing paths in presence of the phase shift φ2 + π/2. 2. 2.2. Phase shifters in both interferometers permit continuous variation of the phases φ1 and φ2 .3.” (B) ”Particle 1 takes the upper outgoing path in presence of the phase shift φ1 ” and ”Particle 2 takes the upper outgoing path in presence of the phase shift φ2 .2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement The total information content of a composite system consisting of two qubits is 2 bits of information. we will consider sets of mutually complementary pairs of propositions where precise knowledge of the truth values of a specific pair of propositions excludes any knowledge of the truth values of other complementary pairs of propositions. maximal entanglement arises when the total information of a composite system is exhausted in specifying joint properties. there are 2k + 1 mutually complementary observables. Here we note that for a composite system consisting of k qubits. In particular. 2. Entanglement results from the fact that information could also be distributed in joint properties of a multiparticle system. let us consider setups where a source emits two particles which feed two Mach-Zehnder interferometers as shown in Fig. In order to analyze a simple composite system in view of the ideas proposed above. We give one possible choice of a complete set of complementary propositions for the two particles: (A) ”Particle 1 takes the upper path inside the interferometer” and ”Particle 2 takes the upper path inside the interferometer. Again. As opposed to the single-particle case where 3 individual propositions are complementary to each other.2.1 Pairs of Complementary Propositions In contrast to the single-qubit system where an individual proposition defines the information content of one bit of information. in the two-particle case we have 5 pairs of propositions where each pair is complementary to each other pair2 . for a two-qubit system a pair of propositions will define the information content of two bits of information. 2 . That information is invariant under the choice of the particular set of mutually complementary observations and conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment.” An exact number of mutually complementary observables with respect to the dimension of the Hilbert space of the system will be discussed in Sec.2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement 53 2.

(D) ”The path of particle 1 inside the interferometer and the outgoing path of particle 2 in the presence of the phase shift φ2 are the same” and ”Particle 1 and particle 2 take the same outgoing path in the presence of the phase shifts φ1 and φ2 + π/2. in propositions (D) and (E) the phrase ”The path of particle 1 .. are the same” precisely means that particle 1 and particle 2 either both take the upper path (particle 1 the upper path inside the interferometer and particle 2 the upper outgoing path) or both take the lower path (particle 1 the lower path inside the interferometer and particle 2 the lower outgoing path).” (E) ”The path of particle 1 inside the interferometer and the outgoing path of particle 2 in the presence of the phase shift φ2 + π/2 are the same” and ”Particle 1 and particle 2 take the same outgoing path in the presence of the phase shifts φ1 + π/2 and φ2 . A formally equivalent .54 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System Figure 2. and the outgoing path of particle 2 . Analogous to the single-particle case.” Here.. different sets of mutually complementary pairs of propositions are labeled by parameters φ1 and φ2 . for example... In a set of mutually complementary spin measurements for two spin-1/2 particles these parameters would correspond to the angles of rotation of the magnets in the Stern-Gerlach apparati for particle 1 and for particle 2.3: Principle sketch of arrangements to consider mutually exclusive classes of information in a two-particle interference with two Mach-Zehnders interferometer.

2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement 55 set of mutually complementary pairs of propositions includes spin measurements on particle 1 and particle 2 along directions φ1 and φ2 assumed to be by lying in the x-y plane oriented at angles φ1 and φ2 with respect to the x-axis [Brukner and Zeilinger. |z − 1 |z + 2 and |z − 1 |z − 2 (2. true-false. 1999(d)]: (A) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along z” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along z.2.” and (E) ”The spin of particle 1 along z and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ in the x-y plane are the same” and ”The spin of the particle 1 along φ1 + 90 in the x-y plane and the spin of the particle 2 along φ2 in the x-y plane are the same. We emphasize . Similarly. false-true and falsefalse of the truth values of the pair of propositions given in (A) above. |x+ 1 |x− 2 . false-true and falsefalse of the propositions given in (B) and (C) respectively. |x− and |y + . |y − 1 |y + 2 2 and |x− 1 |x− 2 (2. true-false. the product states |x+ 1 |x+ 2 .” (D) ”The spin of particle 1 along z and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 in the x-y plane are the same” and ”The spin of particle 1 along φ1 in the x-y plane and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ in the x-y plane are the same. Here |x+ .” (C) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along φ1 + 90◦ in the x-y plane” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along φ2 + 90◦ in the x-y plane. |y − are eigenbases of spin rotated by φ1 and φ2 separately. |z + 1 |z − 2 .” (B) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along φ1 in the x-y plane” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along φ2 in the x-y plane.21) represent the two-bits combination true-true.20) and |y − 1 |y − 2 (2. Four product states |z + 1 |z + 2 .” We now consider the states defined by each pair of propositions.19) represent the two-bit combinations true-true. |y + 1 |y − 2 . |x− 1 |x+ and |y + 1 |y + 2 .

2 2 1 1 |φ4 = √ (|z + 1 |x− 2 + i|z − 1 |x+ 2 ) = √ (|x+ 1 |y − 2 + i|x− 1 |y + 2 ). if the composite system is in the eigenstate of one of the pairs of observables. Again. Similarly. 2 2 1 1 |φ2 = √ (i|z + 1 |x+ 2 + |z − 1 |x− 2 ) = √ (|x+ 1 |y − 2 − i|x− 1 |y + 2 ). j = 1. If instead of describing the composite system with propositions about properties of individual particles we consider propositions describing joint properties of the composite system. 2 2 1 iπ 1 |ψ2 = √ e 4 (−|z + 1 |y + 2 + |z − 1 |y − 2 ) = √ (|y + 1 |x− 2 + i|y − 1 |x+ 2 ). (2. 3.22) The two pairs of observables are then also complementary to the pairs of observables defined by eigenbases (2. 2 2 1 iπ 1 |ψ3 = √ e 4 (−|z + 1 |y − 2 + |z − 1 |y + 2 ) = √ (|y + 1 |x+ 2 + i|y − 1 |x− 2 ).19). (2. (2. true-false. the four Bell states π 1 1 |ψ1 = √ e−i 4 (|z + 1 |y + 2 + |z − 1 |y − 2 ) = √ (|y + 1 |x+ 2 − i|y − 1 |x− 2 ).20) and (2. 2 2 These four Bell states now are the representation of the four possible two-bit combinations true-true.19). false-true and false-false of the truth values of the propositions given in (E). 2 2 represent the four possible two-bit combinations true-true.22) and (2. false-true and false-false of the truth values of the pair of propositions given in (D).22) might be seen as eigenbases of two mutually complementary pairs of observables with property | ψi |φj |2 = 1 4 i. the probabilities to find the system in eigenstates of complementary pairs of observables will be equal (having a value of 1/4). 4.21) might be seen as eigenbases of three mutually complementary pairs of observables.20) and (2.21). 2. 2 2 1 1 |φ3 = √ (i|z + 1 |x− 2 + |z − 1 |x+ 2 ) = √ (|x+ 1 |y + 2 − i|x− 1 |y − 2 ). . true-false. (2. we obtain four Bell states (notice that they are not usual Bell-states): 1 1 |φ1 = √ (|z + 1 |x+ 2 + i|z − 1 |x− 2 ) = √ (|x+ 1 |y + 2 + i|x− 1 |y − 2 ). (2. 2 2 1 −i π 1 |ψ4 = √ e 4 (|z + 1 |y − 2 + |z − 1 |y + 2 ) = √ (|y + 1 |x− 2 − i|y − 1 |x+ 2 ).56 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System that the three sets of product states in Eq. the two sets of Bell states in Eq. Then.

true-false.3 and project the state ρ ˆ onto the Bell states listed above3 . The method includes a Hadamard transformation for a single particle and a quantum controlled-NOT gate. For example. pD ˆ|φ3 |2 is the probability that both the spin of particle 1 along z 3 = | φ3 |ρ and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 are different and the spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ are the same. pA ˆ|z − |z + |2 is the probability to find the spin of particle 1 3 = | z − | z + |ρ down along z and the spin of particle 2 up along z. p2 . for the pair (A) we find pA ˆ|z + |z + |2 is the probability to find the spin of particle 1 1 = | z + | z + |ρ up along z and the spin of particle 2 up along z.2 Invariant Information in Two Qubits j j j We now calculate the four probabilities pj 1 . 1996] into four product states. pD ˆ|φ2 |2 is the probability that both the spin of particle 1 along z 2 = | φ2 |ρ and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 are the same and the spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ are different. B.. Likewise. 3 . false-true and false-false) of the truth values for the pair of propositions j .2. To obtain these probabilities we need to perform Bell state measurements as indicated in Fig. pA ˆ|z + |z − |2 is the probability to find the spin of particle 1 2 = | z + | z − |ρ up along z and the spin of particle 2 down along z.. and pD ˆ|φ4 |2 is the probability that both the spin of particle 1 along z 4 = | φ4 |ρ and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 are different and the spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ are different. pD ˆ|φ1 |2 is the probability that both the spin of particle 1 along z 1 = | φ1 |ρ and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 are the same and the spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + 90◦ are the same. 2.2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement 57 2. p3 and p4 (j = A. C. By transforming the four Bell states [Barenco et al. 1995(b)]. the Bell measurement may be reduced to two single-particle measurements. and pA ˆ|z − |z − |2 is the probability to find the spin of particle 1 4 = | z − | z − |ρ down along z and the spin of particle 2 down along z. [Bruss et al.2. D. E ) for the system in a state ρ ˆ to give four possible combinations (true-true.

It may be carried by the 2 particles individually.j =1 3 ρ ˆ= 1ˆ ˆ 1 I ⊗I + 4 4 . This again is invariant under unitary transformations. this is represented by the entangled state |φ2 . This would then be represented by the product state |z − 1 |z + 2 . See also [Zeilinger. 1997. This information. Alternatively.23) 3 Itotal = IA (p A ) + IB (p B ) + IC (p C ) + ID (p D ) + IE (p E ) = for the total information carried by the composite system. and no further possibility exists to also encode information in individuals.34) over a complete set of mutually complementary observations and find [Brukner and Zeilinger.1 may serve as an operator basis in the composite system. this could be the two-bit combination true-false of the truth values of the propositions given in (D). the two bits of information might all be carried by the two particles in a joint way. now there cannot be any information carried by the individuals because the two bits of information are exhausted by defining that maximally entangled state.. e. The direct product of the operator bases introduced in Sec. Again. In this case there is no additional information represented jointly by the two systems. We now derive our result (2. one bit in each particle just like in classical physics.23) stated above. The two bits of information are thus encoded in the two particles separately. In fact. 2. 1999(a)] 2 (4T r ρ ˆ2 − 1) (2. can be distributed over the two particles in various ways. This Bell state does not contain any information about the individuals. instead all information is contained in joint properties.58 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System We summarize the individual measures of information (1. Independence of the physical parameters φ1 and φ2 implies that the total information of the composite system is invariant under the choice of the particular set of mutually complementary pairs of propositions. (2.24) i i j j 4 4 i=1 j =1 i. the total information of the composite system is conserved in time if there is no information exchange between the composite system and an environment. as the two-bit combination false-true of the truth values of the propositions given in (A). contained in two propositions. For example. Also. in the extreme case with no individual particle carrying any information on its own.g. A composite two-qubit system in a pure state carries two bits of information. The density operator then reads 3 1 3 1 2 ˆ 2 1 2 ˆ) + 1 s1 (ˆ σ ⊗ I s ( I ⊗ σ ˆ ) + Tij (ˆ σi ⊗σ ˆj ). 1999] and [Brukner and Zeilinger 1999(d)].

2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement 59 Again the factor 1/4 is due to the normalization condition T r ρ ˆ = 1.j =1 16 i.j.j =1 (2. s2 .j 2 1 2 (Tij + s1 ˆi ⊗σ ˆj + i sj ) T r σ =0 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 Tij s1 σi σ ˆk + σ ˆk σ ˆi ) ⊗ σ ˆj ) k T r ((ˆ 16 i. respectively.28) + 1 8 3 i.j =1 i j =4δij =4δij (2. 4 i. i. s1 ) and s 2 = (s2 .j.2.27) The reduced density operator ρ ˆ2 for particle 2 is calculated in an analogous way.k 16 i. It is easy to see that 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 (s1 = (T r ρ ˆ1 σ ˆz ) + (T r ρ ˆ2 σ ˆz ) + (T r ρ ˆσz σz ) z ) + (sz ) + (Tzz ) . one obtains the reduced density operator for particle 1. s x y z x y z 1 ˆ s1 ˆ· σ ˆj ⊗I j = T rρ and 2 ˆ⊗ σ s2 ˆ· I ˆj .j. The two 1 .e. We now calculate the trace over the square of the density matrix 1 ˆ⊗ I ˆ+ 1 T rI 16 8 3 3 i=1 2 ˆ+ 1 ˆ⊗ σ ⊗I s2 T r I ˆj 8 j =1 j =0 3 3 T rρ ˆ 2 = 1 s1 ˆi i T rσ =0 + 1 1 1 1 2 2 ˆ+ 1 ˆ⊗ σ s1 ˆi σ ˆj ⊗ I s2 s2 T r I ˆi σ ˆj i sj T r σ 16 i. s2 ). + 2 2 j =1 j (2.26) accounts for correlations between two particles.k =0 3 3 + 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 Tij s2 σi ⊗ (ˆ σk σ ˆj + σ ˆj σ ˆk )) + Tij Tkl T r (ˆ σi σ ˆj ⊗ σ ˆk σ ˆl ) k T r (ˆ 16 i.29) From this final sum we single out specific terms and evaluate them further. 1ˆ 1 3 1 ρ ˆ1 = T r2 ρ ˆ= I s σ ˆj .25) determine the properties of the individual particles. j = T rρ (2.k =0 =4δij δkl = 1 1 + 4 4 3 i=1 2 (s1 i) + 1 4 3 i=1 2 (s2 i) + 1 3 (Tij )2 . Performing the partial trace over particle 2. while the second-rank tensor 1 2 Tij = T r ρ ˆσ ˆi σ ˆj (2. with Bloch vectors s 1 = (s1 .

σx σy = −1) + p(σz σx = −1.31) 3 IC (p C ). 2 (2. .30) 3 2 2 2 2 B (s1 x ) + (sx ) + (Txx ) = IB (p ). σx σy = 1) = pD 1 + p3 .33) there appear 1 σ 2 = 1). p(σ 1 σ 2 = 1) and p(σ 1 σ 2 = 1).32) We evaluate 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 (Tzx )2 + (Txy )2 + (Tyz )2 = (T r ρ ˆσ ˆz σ ˆx ) + (T r ρ ˆσ ˆx σ ˆy ) + (T r ρ ˆσ ˆy σ ˆz ) 1 2 1 2 = (p(σz σx = 1) − p(σz σx = −1))2 1 2 1 2 + (p(σx σy = 1) − p(σx σy = −1))2 1 2 1 2 + (p(σy σz = 1) − p(σy σz = −1))2 (2. e. σx σy = 1) + p(σz σx = −1. p(σz x and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 to be the same. 2 and 2 2 2 2 (s1 y ) + (sy ) + (Tyy ) = (2. σx σy = 1) D = pD 2 + p3 .g. (2.60 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System A A A 2 A A A A 2 = (pA 1 + p2 − p3 − p4 ) +(p1 + p3 − p2 − p4 ) A A A 2 + (pA 1 + p4 − p1 − p3 ) = 4 4 2 (pA i ) −1 i=1 = Likewise 3 IA (p A ). 1σ 2 and σ 1σ 2 commute and (ˆ 1σ 2 )(ˆ 1σ 2 ) = −σ 1σ 2 we Using the fact that σ ˆz ˆx ˆx ˆy σz ˆx σx ˆy ˆy ˆz may write 1 2 1 2 1 2 p(σy σz = 1) = p(σz σx · σx σy = −1) 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 = p(σz σx = 1. σx σy = 1) + p(σz σx = 1. We three typical probabilities p(σz x x y y z evaluate 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 D p(σz σx = 1) = p(σz σx = 1. σ 1 σ 2 = 1) = pD . In Eq. and likewise where p(σz x x y 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 D p(σx σy = 1) = p(σz σx = 1. σx σy = −1) = pD 1 + p2 1 σ 2 = 1.33) 1 σ 2 = 1) is the probability to find the spin of particle 1 along z where. 2 (2..

2.32).28) one may easily obtain 3 (Tzy )2 + (Tyx )2 + (Txz )2 = IE (p E ). 2 (2. 2 Repeating a similar consideration for the remaining terms in Eq. we summarize Eq.34) 1 + p4 − p1 − p3 ) = ID (p ).2 Two Qubits Carry Two Bits – Entanglement Inserting the expressions for the probabilities into Eq.34) and (2. 3 .35) and find IA (p A ) + IB (p B ) + IC (p C ) + ID (p D ) + IE (p E ) = 2 (4T r ρ ˆ2 − 1). (2.35) Finally. (2. (2.31).30). (2. (2. (2.33) we obtain 61 D D D 2 D D D D 2 (Tzx )2 + (Txy )2 + (Tyz )2 = (pD 1 + p2 − p3 − p4 ) +(p1 + p3 − p2 − p4 ) 3 D D D 2 D + (pD (2.

n n (2.. To our knowledge the question as to whether it is possible to find n + 1 mutually complementary observables for an arbitrary dimension n of the Hilbert space is open... Consider a complete set of mutually complementary observables (without ˆ1 . That is.36) ˆ i denotes the projector onto the one-dimensional eigenspace associated Here. 1981] and in [Wooters and Fields. Here we will reduce our consideration to the cases that are known. i. Therefore. complete measurement (we consider here only complete measurements. Ivanovic [1981] and Wootters and Fields [1989] demonstrated the existence of exactly n +1 mutually complementary observables by an explicit construction in the cases of n prime and n = 2k .62 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System 2. we expect that the number of different measurements we need in order to de2 −1 termine the density matrix completely is n n−1 = n + 1. The knowledge of these probability distributions is sufficient to calculate the future probability for any specific measurement result. as for a qubit or a composite system consisting of two qubits. This implies 1 1 k ˆji P ˆr T r (P ) = + δik (δjr − ). 4 . as we have already seen. . These have the property that complete knowledge of degeneracy) A the eigenvalue of any one of the observables excludes any knowledge about the eigenvalues of all other observables. when n equals 2 or 4. To specify the state of the system completely one needs n2 − 1 independent real numbers.e. we need to make 3 and 5 different measurements respectively. In that sense. every density matrix is uniquely defined by the set of n + 1 probability distributions over the outcomes of mutually complementary observables. Note that other complete sets In [Ivanovic. if the system is in an eigenstate4 i ˆi ˆk ˆi = of the observable A j aj Pj and if we measure observable A . Any individual.. For example. where operators associated to the measurements are without degeneracy) with n possible outcomes defines n − 1 independent probability values (the sum of all probabilities for all possible outcomes in an individual experiment is one). k = i the measurement results will be complete random (all measurement results will be equally probable). 1989] eigenbases of mutually complementary observables are called mutually unbiased. just on the basis of counting the number of independent variables. P j ˆi with the j -th outcome ai j of the observable A .3 N Qubits Carry N Bits Consider a system described by a n × n density matrix. the probabilities for all possible outcomes of all mutually complementary observables are a minimal set of physical quantities which describe the system completely. A ˆn+1 . Thus.

This implies that the total information .. The density operator may be decomposed into the identity operator and the ˆ i [Ivanovic. Using Eq. A ˆn+1 by applying an unitary transformation one A ˆA ˆ1 U ˆ + . (2. 1981] projectors P j n+1 n (2.37) ρ ˆ= i=1 j =1 ˆi ˆ pi j Pj − I. and in 0 bits of information for the system in the completely mixed state. U ˆ +.38) we obtain able A T rρ ˆ2 = n+1 n i. .. Note that the density operator can be decomposed into any complete set of mutually complementary observables. (2.32). Then the total information content of the quantum system 2k +1 Itotal = Ij (pj ) = i=1 2k k ˆ2 − 1) (2k T r ρ −1 (2.41) results in just k bits of information for the system in a pure state..3 N Qubits Carry N Bits 63 of mutually complementary observables may be constructed from the original ˆ1 . . 2 k i=1 2 k (2..36). (1..39) For n = 2k .l n+1 n k pi j pl ˆk ˆ iP T rP j l 1 1 =n +δik (δjr − n ) −2 n+1 n i=1 j =1 ˆi ˆ pi j T r Pj + T r I =1 =n = i=1 j =1 2 (pi j) − 1 (2.40) where Ij (pj ) is the measure of information for the measurement of Aj defined by Eq..k j. ˆA ˆn+1 U U This new set of observables then also fulfills the requirement (2.38) i where pi j denotes the probability to observe the j -th outcome aj of the observˆi .2. when k bits of information can be encoded in individual measurements this results in 2k +1 2k T rρ ˆ = 2 2 (pi j) i=1 j =1 2k − 1 2 +1 1 −1= k Ij (pj ) + k .

(1) (2) (2. with no information represented in the joint properties of the two systems... pn ) = − log (1.2) = − log T r (ˆ ρ(1.42) and define the total information of the composite system as n+1 i=1  i  I (pi 1 .2) Itotal = − log n+1 n  2  (pi j) − 1 i=1 j =1 = − log T r (ˆ ρ (1.2) 2 ) .e. Furthermore. and not of the specific reference set of complementary observables. n (2. .43) we arrive at the property that the total information content of a composite system consisting of two uncorrelated (non-entangled) systems is the sum of the information contents I (1) and I (2) of individual systems.2) )2 = T r (ˆ ρ(1) )2 T r (ˆ ρ(2) )2 . (2.2) of the two systems is the product of the density matrices ρ ˆ(1) and ρ ˆ(2) of the individual systems.2) )2 = − log T r (ˆ ρ(1) )2 − log T r (ˆ ρ(2) )2 = Itotal + Itotal . . We have then T r (ˆ ρ(1. Instead it is a characterization of the state of the system alone. Now.24) as n 2 (pi j) − I (pi ) = j =1 1 .. Itotal (1. the total information of the system is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with the environment. if we alternatively normalize our measure of information (1. Consider a composite system consisting of two uncorrelated systems.64 Chapter 2: Information Content of a Quantum System content of the system is independent of the particular set of mutually complementary observables considered. Then the density matrix ρ ˆ(1.44) The total information of the composite system consisting of two uncorrelated individual systems is carried by the two systems separately. i.

To specify our ignorance we use Shannon’s measure. p.A. (A. t) log (A. To determine the state of a system one has to only measure r and p. p denote the set of independent variables chosen to specify the total lack of information. but an average of measures of lack of information.p Htotal (t) = − d3 r d3 p ρ(r.2). and remove our ignorance about that pre-existing property. p.45) where µ(r. the total lack of information associated to an individual system is specified by ρ(r. an amount of information gained in the position measurement followed by a conditional momentum measurement is equal to the amount of information gained in a momentum measurement followed by a conditional position measurement r.p Htotal = H (r ) + H (p|r) = H (p) + H (r |p). When probabilities are associated with the possible values of r and p. an uncertainty arises because this probability distribution does not enable us to predict the value for a specific physical quantity exactly. p) is a background measure in the phase space and indices r . t) . p.46) This is the property of independence of classical information on the order of its acquisition (see discussion in Sec. we reveal a property of the system to have a certain position and momentum already existing before the measurement is performed.1 Information Content of a Classical System 65 A. If instead of a joint measurement of position and momentum we perform successive measurements in which the observation of position is followed by the observation of momentum or vice versa. If we perform a joint measurement of position and momentum. the total amount of information we gain will not depend on the order in which position and momentum measurements are performed. Given the probability distribution ρ(r. each associated to the conditional . p) r.1 Information Content of a Classical System The state of an individual classical pointlike system (with no rotation and internal degrees of freedom) is specified by its position r and momentum p. 1. That is. t) over the phase space. These variables together specify the value of all physical quantities of the system. Note that they are not measures of the lack of information concerning one particular probability distribution. because this measure of information is adequate whenever a measurement can be assumed to reveal pre-existing property (see Sec 1.2). Here H (p|r ) and H (r |p) are measures of lack of conditional information. µ(r.

Introducing the notation Γ = (r.51) . p)J d3 r d3 p ρ (r .47) d3 pρ(p. p) and p = p (r. p. p ) (A. there is no information exchange with the environment and the total lack of information of a classical system remains conserved in time. p) and dΓ = d3 rd3 p. p ) log ρ (r . t)J ρ(r. p. p. t)J log J µ(r. The total lack of information of the system is independent of the particular choice of the complete set of variables considered.48) is the probability density in ordinary space and ρ(p|r) = ρ(p.p Htotal (t) = − d3 rd3 p ρ(r. If instead of r and p we consider a new set of independent variables which describe the system completely and are related to the old ones by the transformations r = r (r. r ) . H (p|r) = − where ρ(r ) = Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment d3 r0 ρ(r0 ) d3 p ρ(p|r0 ) log ρ(p|r0 ) . ∂t (A. The background measure µ(p|r0 ) is an additional ingredient to the formalism that has to be added to ensure invariance under a variable change when we consider continuous probability distributions [Jaynes. ρ(r ) (A. we calculate dHtotal d =− dt dt dΓρ log ρ = − dΓ ∂ρ log ρ − ∂t dΓ ∂ρ . p ) µ (r . 1962]. µ(p|r0 ) (A. t) log = − ρ(r.p ) µ (r . p) 3 3 d rd p ρ(r. If a system is dynamically independent of the environment and not exposed to a measurement.p ) = − d3 r d3 p ρ (r . r ) (A.50) r .p = Htotal (t).66 probability.. p) we find r. p. t) µ(r. where J denotes the Jacobian of the transformation.49) is the conditional probability density in momentum space given the system is found at r . e.g.

dt (A. Therefore finally we obtain equations r ∂p ∂r dHtotal = 0.53) Γ The integrand function ∂ ∂t results in zero. ∂t dΓ log ρ (A. we obtain dHtotal = dt ˙ ∂Γ .1 Information Content of a Classical System 67 The second integral vanishes due to the conservation of the total probability ∂ ˙ dΓρ = 1.52) Applying the partial integration. This is an immediate consequence of the fact that evolution of the phase point in time follows the Hamiltonian ˙ = ∂H and p ˙ = − ∂H .54) . ∂t ˙ dΓρ (A.A. Using the Lioville equation ∂ρ ∂t + ∂t (ρΓ) = 0 we transform the first integral into dHtotal = dt ∂ ˙ (ρΓ).

68 Chapter 1: Information Acquired in a Quantum Experiment .

69 . and back....

.

each such constituent system will be described by fewer propositions. Thus the information content of a system scales with its size. How far then can this process of subdividing a system go? We reach a 71 . the laws of physics are. of a system gained through observation.. why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space-time is going to do?” Our physical description of the universe is represented by propositions. information. Any physical system can be described by a set of propositions together with their truth values .e.. and represent our knowledge.” A closely related view was assumed by Feynman: ”It always bothers me that. according to the laws as we understand them today.true or false. in turn. into its constituent systems. It is natural to assume that if we decompose a physical system. Any propositions we might assign to a system are arrived at only by observation. Nature is unlikely to be so cooperative as to enable us to bring together an unlimited memory . In any case. it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space and no matter how tiny a region of time. limited by the range of information processing available.. i. . which may be represented by numerous propositions..Chapter 3 Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory 3.1 The Principle of Quantization of Information In his article ”Information is Physical” Landauer [1991] writes: ”Quite likely we are in a finite universe.. Information handling is limited by the laws of physics and the number of parts available in the universe.

3). This may tempt us to describe all objects as composite systems composed from the most simple possible objects. This is then the reason for the irreducible randomness of an individual quantum event. Thus.” Thus the ”ur”. for the well-known sinusoidal dependence between probabilities and laboratory parameters (Sec. Evidently. may serve as a foundational principle for quantum mechanics. the account of the experimental arrangement and the result of observation must be expressed in unambiguous language with suitable application of the terminology of classical physics. We remark that our principle might be interpreted as a definition of what is the most elementary system. and for quantum entanglement. and nothing more. 1999]: The most elementary system represents the truth value of one proposition. the ’ur’. ”an elementary system” or the ”qubit” – a new phrase in the theory of quantum information and quantum computation – can all be seen as different words for the same entity. In the spirit of Bohr1 we always mean by observation observation of properties of our classical apparatus. Such a system we call an elementary system. the account of all evidence must be expressed in classical terms. who writes [1975]: ”It is certainly possible to decide any large alternative step by step in binary alternatives. 3. Any propositions we might assign to a physical system are arrived at only by observation. The argument is simply that by the word ”experiment” we refer to a situation where we can tell others what we have done and what we have learned and that. a physical elementary particle also carries other properties being 1 Bohr [1949] emphasized that: ”How far the [quantum] phenomena transcend the scope of classical physical explanation. The simplest possible object is an object with a twodimensional Hilbert space.” . therefore. An explicit example of an elementary system is the spin of a spin-1/2 particle. We emphasize again that by the notion ”a system represents the truth value of a proposition” we mean a statement that can be verified directly by experiment. The word ’ur’ is introduced to have an abstract term for something which can be described by quantum theory and has a two-dimensional Hilbert space. We relate our notion of an elementary system to the ”ur” object developed by von Weizs¨ acker. It is then suggestive that a principle of quantization of information [Zeilinger.72 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory final limit when an individual system represents the truth value to one single proposition only. We notice that the truth value of a proposition can be represented by one bit of information with ”true” being identified with the bit value ”1” and ”false” being identified with the bit value ”0”. for quantum complementarity. our principle becomes simply: The most elementary system carries 1 bit of information.

a primary fundamental notion of physics” as remarked by Pauli [1955]. According to . far away particles.2) with eigenvalue unity. Also. 1935]. As a simple consequence of the fact that an elementary system cannot carry enough information to provide definite answers to all questions that could be asked experimentally. without any disturbing a system. z + − |z −. z − ). To illustrate this point we will briefly review the GHZ-argument [Greenberger et.. Assume a measurement of the spin along the z-axis yields some definite result. measurement along any other direction must necessarily contain an element of randomness. al. 1990]. it cannot be reduced to ”hidden” properties of the system. 2 (3. We emphasize that this kind of randomness must then be irreducible.1 The Principle of Quantization of Information 73 thus elementary in more way than one. 1 2 3 σ ˆy σ ˆx σ ˆy . 1935]: ”If. al.2). Because the product of the results of measuring one x component and two y components is unity in our state. Otherwise the system would not be elementary for spin. then there exists an element of physical reality corresponding to this physical quantity. z +. z −.” Since this is the only information the spin carries.1) GHZ Since this is an eigenstate of all three operators 1 2 3 σ ˆx σ ˆy σ ˆy . This affords immediately application of the EPR reality criterion [Einstein et. Let us consider three space-like separated spin-1/2 particles in a GHZ-state |ψ 1 = √ (|z +.. ”incapable of further reduction . 1985] rather than just the two-fold alternative represented by an elementary system. that is it would carry enough information to assign truth values to more than one proposition. [Mermin. that is. 1990] for refutation of the EPR-program [Einstein et. some of these properties may be represented by n-fold alternatives [von Weizs¨ acker 1975. the product of the results of the three individual spin measurements has to be +1 (in units of 1/2¯ h) for each set of operators in Eq. (3. The spin-1/2 particle then represents the truth value of only one proposition: ”The spin along the z-axis is up. probability arises as an irreducible concept. we can predict predict with certainty the value of a physical quantity. 1989.” The ”element of physical reality” ought then to exist independent of whether or not an observer actually cares to measure it.3. 1 2 3 σ ˆy σ ˆy σ ˆx (3. al. we can predict with certainty the result of measuring the x component of the spin of any one of the three particles by measuring the y components of the other two.

”The spin of particle 2 is up along the x direction”. the EPR reality assumption does not assume the ”determinism” as an extra premiss. In a deterministic hidden variables theory. Thus the failure of the EPR hypothesis can be shown in principle in a single experimental trial. and ”The spin of particle 3 is up along the x direction” respectively.2). The reality assumption deals with information in an extremely non-economical way. and ”The spin of particle 3 is up along the y direction” respectively. the spin values are assigned along all possible directions and consequently an individual particle carries an infinite amount of information. the EPR 2 3 reality criterion asserts the spin values s1 y . sy and sy (= +1 or -1) that now specify the truth values of the propositions ”The spin of particle 1 is up along the y direction”. sx and sx (= +1 or -1) specifying three truth values of the propositions: ”The spin of particle 1 is up along the x direction”. All six truth values have to be pre-assigned. because we can predict in advance what any one of the six truth values will be by measurements performed far enough separated that they cannot disturb the assigned truth values that are indeed subsequently revealed in appropriate measurements. (3. In much the same way we can also predict the result of measuring the y component of the spin of any particle with certainty.1) is an eigenstate with eigenvalue +1 of each of three 1σ 2σ 3 with eigenvalue operators in Eq. our foundational principle for quantum mechanics allows us to assert one bit of information to each individual particle only. This is opposite in sign to the one required by the EPR-program. ”The spin of particle 2 is up along the y direction”. so is their combined product. Since each individual si y is either +1 or -1 and each occurs twice in the combined product. In contrast. This powerful refutation of the EPR reality criterion emerges quite directly from one crucial difference between the assumption of elements of reality and the principle of quantization of information. 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Because the values of the corresponding products s1 x sy sy . it will be also in an eigenstate of σ ˆx ˆx ˆx -1. sy sx sy and sy sy sx must be unity. However one easily verifies that 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 σ ˆx σ ˆx σ ˆx = −(ˆ σx σ ˆy σ ˆy )(ˆ σy σ ˆx σ ˆy )(ˆ σy σ ˆy σ ˆx ). Again. that combined product 2 3 is s1 x sx sx = 1. by measuring one x component and one y component of the spins of other two. Applied to the GHZ-state the EPR reality assumption implies elements of physical reality which predeter- .74 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory 2 3 the EPR reality criterion this then asserts spin values s1 x . Since the GHZ-state (3. While EPR-program asserts two bits of information to each individual particle.

N elementary systems carry N bits. We analyze how much information is contained in more complex systems consisting of N elementary systems.1). we propose that information content of a complex system is proportional to the number of constituent elementary systems. Evidently. This will be analyzed in detail in Sec. evidently each elementary system represents just one individual proposition. See Sec. 3. 1998] N elementary systems represent the truth values of N propositions. The notion is well-known. 2. The reason that precise knowledge of one quantity excludes any knowledge of other complementary quantities is again our principle of quantization of information. for position and momentum. In this view we may also characterize the composite system in our example of the maximally entangled three-particle GHZ state (3. there are many ways. It is natural to assume that information content of a complex system increase with its size. The composite system of the three particles in the GHZ state represents the truth values of the three . for the path of the system and the position of appearance in the interference pattern in the double-slit experiment or for spin values of a spin 1/2-particle along orthogonal directions. Then information contained in the N propositions is represented by the N systems individually. or equivalently. 1997. however. information contained in the N propositions might be represented by the N systems in a joint way. We remark that our principle does not make any statement of how the information contained in the N propositions is distributed over the N systems.1 The Principle of Quantization of Information 75 mine the outcomes of spin measurements along two directions for an individual particle and consequently the individual particle carries just two bits of information. Alternatively. We remark that the foundational principle suggested above lends natural support to Bohr’s notion of complementarity.2 for an analysis of the entanglement in the view of the ideas presented here. This assumption.2. In that case we have complete entanglement. We may consider N elementary systems which represents N independent individual propositions. in the extreme case with no individual system carrying any information on its own. for example. We have our principle of quantization of information generalized to [Zeilinger.3. Quantum entanglement follows from slight generalization of the principle of quantization of information. is sufficient to show an extreme conflict with predictions of quantum mechanics. In fact.

all information being contained in entanglement. y + | + |y −. x−. ˆ3 = |y +. x−. With respect to the three statements above. y +. y − y +. y +. y − x+. y −. y + | + |x+. x+. y + | + |y +. x−. if the two bodies have again separated. y +. y − |. y + y +. it is not again split into a logical sum of knowledges about the individual bodies. but at its end. y + y −. y − | P + |y −. y −. during the process it develops causally in accord with known law (there is no question whatever of measurement here) the knowledge remains maximal. each by itself known maximally. x+. ”The product of spin values sy sx sy is 2 3 1”. y −. y −. and thus no individual particle carries any information. x+. y − |. y + y +. In the maximally entangled three-particle GHZ state the information is only expressed in terms of relational properties of the three particles. x−. y + | + |x−. The proposition in the parenthesis is an alternative choice for the third proposition. ˆ2 = |y +. y + y −. x−. x+. x+.76 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory (compare with six propositions as assumed by the EPR program) propositions: 2 3 1 2 3 ”The product of spin values s1 x sy sy is 1”. x−. we can define three projection operators: ˆ1 = |x+. then there occurs regularly that which I have just called entanglement of our knowledge of the two bodies. x−. y + x+. y − y −. x+. y − y +. and ”The product of spin values s1 y sy sx is 1” (”The product of spin values 2 3 s1 x sx sx is -1”). y − x−. and separate again.” . For a Hilbert space H the GHZ state can then be obtained as |ψ ˆ1 P ˆ2 P ˆ3 H . y + | + |y −. y − |. P GHZ (3. x+. x+. enter a situation in which they influence each other. The combined expectation-catalog consists initially of a logical sum of the individual catalogs. y − | P + |y −. y + x−. x−.3) = We see our generalized principle as a quantitative formulation of Schr¨ odinger’s [1935] idea that ” If two separated bodies. y − | P + |x−. y − y −. y +. y + | + |y +.

From the (three-) dimensionality of space it immediately follows that there are altogether three mutually complementary spin measurements.2 The Number of Mutually Complementary Propositions 77 3. Consider a state of a spin-1/2 particle which is specified by the true proposition ”The spin along the z -axis is up”.1 schematically. i. We will show that the extreme case.e. The upper detector plate is hit with probability p. a situation which is abbreviated by saying that the corresponding propositions have definite truth values. or equivalently by the false proposition ”The spin along the −z -axis is up”.1. These are the experiments which have definite outcomes.2 The Number of Mutually Complementary Propositions In this section. with completely random measurement results. For example. Consider a stationary experimental arrangement with two detector plates. in each experimental trial. 3. is realized when these directions are orthogonal to each other. Depending on whether the upper or the lower detector plate was hit by a particle we call the outcome ”yes” and ”no” respectively. 3. Our fundamental principle implies that in quantum mechanics it is not possible to assert definite truth values to all conceivable propositions simultaneously. it will be argued that the degree of randomness in a spin measurement must depend on the relative orientation between the measurement direction and the direction along which the spin-1/2 system gives a definite measurement result. If it is not hit the other detector plate will be hit with probability q = 1 − p. where only one detector plate is hit by a particle at a time. In the specification of the state of the spin-1/2 particle. the truth values of those propositions that are associated to the system together are assigned consistently. This situation is described . however for indefinite propositions only probabilistic predictions can be made. An explicit example would be the Stern-Gerlach experiment with a spin-1/2 particle as depicted in Fig. A knowledge of the system obtained through earlier observation permits the prediction of individual outcomes with certainty for only a very limited class of experiments. We are thus dealing with a binary alternative.3. A state of a physical system can be specified by listing true propositions. the true proposition ”The spin along the z-axis is up” and the false proposition ”The spin along the -z-axis is up” assigned together to the system are logically consistent and can be empirically verified by an analysis of the measuring process in which the magnet in the Stern-Gerlach apparatus will be oriented in opposite directions. In what follows we assume that different experimental situations are always specified by the orientation θ of the magnet in the Stern-Gerlach apparatus as given in Fig.

1). 2 . We will now make use of the Cauchy theorem about continuous and monotonic functions: if a continuous and monotonic function f (x) takes unequal values f (a) = A and f (b) = B in two different point a and b (a < b).3 where we will obtain the function p(θ ) explicitly. Thus the values of the function on a finite segment in the interior of a domain of analyticity would only determine. Depending on whether the upper or the lower detector plate is hit by a particle we call the outcome ”yes” and ”no”. 3. Clearly. Analyticity follows then immediately (Appendix B. each proposition: ”The spin along the direction tilted at angle θ (0 < θ < π ) from the z-axes is up” has to be probabilistic for a particle in that state (Fig. If p(θ ) would only be sectionally analytic in θ then there would be points of nonanalyticity separating two regions in which the function p(θ ) has different analytic forms. 3. then for each number C between A and B there is one and only one point c between a and b such that f (c) = C (a < c < b. How does the probability of a ”yes” count depend upon the angle θ ? We argue that the mapping of θ to p(θ ) has to be analytic and monotonic2 . by the probabilities p(0) = 1 and p(π ) = 0 for the ”yes” outcome. by the uniqueness theorem for analytic functions. A < C < B or A > B > C ) (the function f (x) goes through all values between A and B once). to describe such a system completely we would need catalogs both of functional values on finite segments in the interior of each domain of analyticity and of the positions of the points of nonanalyticity. respectively. the function up to the next point of nonanalyticity. We suggest that the reason for analyticity is again the fact that an elementary system carries information for one single proposition only. The particle passes through the Stern-Gerlach magnet oriented at the angle θ. The monotonicity will be confirmed in Sec. there has to It turns out that analyticity is not necessary as a separate condition and that it suffices to assume the continuity condition. According to the Cauchy theorem about continuous and monotonic functions. and then it hits one of the detector plates behind the Stern-Gerlach magnet. Because of the fundamental limitation of the information a spin-1/2 particle can carry.2). Both catalogs would imply that our system carries more information than allowed by the principle of quantization of information.78 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory Figure 3.1: Spin measurement of a spin-1/2 particle.

that is. 3.2: The gradual change of the probability p(θ) of a ”yes” (”spin up”) count with a gradual change of the orientation θ of the magnet in the Stern-Gerlach apparatus. consider the state of a spin-1/2 particle specified by the proposition ”The spin along the y-axis is up (down)”. In that case we know precisely the . How does the probability p(θ) of a ”yes” count depend on θ explicitly? be one and only one angle of orientation of the magnet in the Stern-Gerlach apparatus where the probabilities for a ”yes” and for a ”no” outcome are equal. Consider now the state of a spin-1/2 particle specified by the proposition ”The spin along the x-axis is up (down)”.3) the proposition ”The spin along the n-axis is up” is completely indefinite. we have absolutely no knowledge which outcome ”yes” or ”no” will be observed in a specific individual measurement. Finally. Yet again this would imply that an individual system carries enough information to permit assignment of definite truth values to all possible propositions.2 The Number of Mutually Complementary Propositions 79 Figure 3. this equal number of yes-no outcomes could be achieved by an ensemble of systems each giving a definite result for each direction such that the same number of ”yes” or ”no” results is obtained.3).3. The measurement along the z-axis gives result ”yes” with certainty. Because of the symmetry of the problem this obviously has to be the angle π/2. Because of the symmetry of the problem the probabilities for a ”yes” and for a ”no” count in a measurement along any direction in the x-y plane (the green circle) are equal (=1/2). For each direction n in the x-y plane (the green circle on the sphere in Fig. 3. In principle. In this case we have complete knowledge which outcome will be observed when the Stern-Gerlach magnet is oriented along the ±x-axis at the expense of the fact that we have absolutely no knowledge about the outcome when the magnet is oriented along any direction in the y-z plane (the yellow circle on the sphere in Fig. in contradiction to our basic principle.

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Figure 3.3: The formation of mutually complementary propositions associated with orthogonal spin components. If measurement along the z-axis (x-axis) [y-axis] gives a definite result, measurement along any direction in the x-y plane, the green circle (y-z plane, the yellow circle) or [x-z plane, the red circle] will be maximally random, respectively. There are altogether three mutually complementary spin measurements represented by three intersection points of the green, yellow, and red circle. outcome of the experiment when the Stern-Gerlach magnet is oriented along the ±y-axis at the expense of our complete uncertainty about the outcome when the magnet is oriented along any direction in the x-z plane (the red circle on the sphere in Fig. 3.3). Obviously, there are altogether three mutually exclusive or complementary propositions (represented by three intersection points of the green, yellow and red circle on the sphere in Fig. 3.3): ”The spin along direction n1 is up (down)”, ”The spin along direction n2 is up (down)” and ”The spin along direction n3 is up (down)” where n1 , n2 and n3 are mutually orthogonal directions. These are propositions with a property of mutually exclusiveness: the total knowledge of one proposition is always at the expense of total ignorance about the other two complementary ones. Precise knowledge of the outcome of one experiment therefore implies that all possible outcomes of complementary ones are equally probable. We emphasize that the total number of three mutually complementary propositions for the spin might be seen as a consequence of the (three-) dimensionality of the space. Since the theory of spin-1/2 particles affords a model of the quantum mechanics of all two-state systems, we conclude that there are always three mutually complementary propositions whenever binary alternatives are investigated.

3.3 Malus’ Law in Quantum Mechanics

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3.3

Malus’s Law in Quantum Mechanics

Quantum theory predicts p(θ ) = cos2 (θ/2) for the probability to find the spin up along the direction at an angle θ with respect to the direction along which the system gives spin up with certainty. We ask: From what deeper foundation emerges this law, initially formulated by Malus3 for light, in quantum mechanics? The most important contributions so far in that direction are those of Wootters [1981], Summhammer [1988, 1994] and Fivel [1994]. In this section we argue that the most natural function between the probability for a specific outcome to occur and laboratory parameters consistent with the principle that an elementary system carries only one bit of information must be the sinusoidal dependence. Consider again a stationary experimental arrangement with two detectors, where only one detector fires in each experimental trial. Detector 1, say, fires (we call this the ”yes” outcome) with probability p. If it does not fire (the ”no” outcome) then the other detector fires with probability q = 1 − p. The experimenter’s measure of information about which individual outcome ”yes” or ”no” will occur in a single future experimental trial is given by (see Sec. 1.3) I (p, q ) = (p − q )2 . (3.4)

This measure is invariant under permutation of the set of possible outcomes. In other words, it is a symmetrical function of p and q . A permutation of the set of possible outcomes can be achieved in two manners, which may be called ”active” and ”passive”. In the passive point of view the permutation is obtained by a simple relabelling of the possible outcomes and the property of invariance is self evident because relabelling obviously does not make an experiment more predictable. From the active point of view, one retains the same labelling, and the permutation of the set of outcomes refers to a change of the experimental set-up. For a spin measurement this would be a re-orientation of the Stern-Gerlach magnet. In that case the property of invariance states that the amount of information is indifferent under real physical changes of the experimental situation. This requirement is more stringent and may be precisely formulated as an invariance of the measure of information under interchange of the following two physical situations: a) the probability for ”yes” is p and for ”no” is q ; and b) the probability for ”yes” is q and for ”no” is p. But these are different experimental
Etienne Louis Malus (1775-1812), a French physicists, was almost entirely concerned with the study of light. He conducted experiments to verify Huygens’ theories of light and rewrote the theory in analytical form. His discovery of the polarization of light by reflection was published in 1809 and his theory of double refraction of light in crystals in 1810.
3

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Chapter 3: Information and the Structure Quantum Theory

Figure 3.4: Various sets of three mutually complementary Stern-Gerlach arrangements labelled by a single experimental parameter θ which specifies the orientation of the Stern-Gerlach magnet in each of the experiments. They are associated to the following sets of mutually complementary propositions: P1 (θ): ”The spin along the x-axis is up”, P2 (θ): ”The spin is up along the direction tilted at angle θ from the z-axes” and P3 (θ): ”The spin is up along the direction tilted at angle θ + 90◦ from the z-axes”. situations corresponding to different information. In order to remove this ambiguity we can associate with each specific outcome its probability for occurrence, or assign different numbers or other distinct labels to possible outcomes, the particular scheme is of no further relevance. We use a quantity i := p − q, (3.5)

because it specifies also the amount of information by I = i2 . We call this quantity information with respect to a single specific measurement, because it is the whole information of a particular physical situation equivalent to the assigning of specific probabilities for each of the possible results. All the quantum state is meant to be is a representation of that catalog4 of our knowledge of the system that is necessary to arrive at the set of, in general probabilistic, predictions for all possible future observations of the system. We describe a system by a catalog of information (”information vector”) i = (i1 , i2 , i3 ) about a complete set of mutually complementary propositions.
A set of complex amplitudes of a ψ -function is a specific representation of the catalog of our knowledge of the system. This view was assumed by Schr¨ odinger [1935] who wrote: ”Sie ((die ψ -Funktion )) ist jetzt das Instrument zur Vorausage der Wahrscheinlichkeit von Maßzahlen. In ihr ist die jeweils erreichte Summe theoretisch begr¨ undeter Zukunfterwartungen verk¨ orpert, gleichsam wie in einem Katalog niedergelegt. Translated: ”It (the ψ -function) is now the means for predicting the probability of measurement results. In it is embodied the momentarily attained sum of theoretically based future expectation, somewhat as laid down in a catalog.”
4

6) We require that the total information content of a system is invariant under the change of representation of the catalog of our knowledge of the system. In the same spirit as choosing a coordinate system.6). 2 2 Itotal = I1 + I2 + I3 = i2 1 + i2 + i3 . P2 (θ ): ”The spin is up along the direction at the angle θ . What basic criteria should we follow to obtain the mapping from θ to i(θ )? We will use a mapping where neighboring values of θ correspond to neighboring values of i(θ ). the laws relating those parameters and the information vector i(θ ) can be seen as laws between those parameters and θ plus a mapping of θ to i(θ ). (3. . 3. 3. that is.5. We now define the total information content Itotal of a system as the sum of the individual measures of information of a complete set of mutually complementary propositions. if we gradually change the orientation of the magnet in each of mutually exclusive Stern-Gerlach apparati. P1 (θ ): ”The spin is up along the direction x”. The components i1 (θ).3. for example.4. 3. i3 (θ )) of the catalog of our knowledge of the system as shown in Fig. i3 (θ) of the information vector take the values of the information associated to three mutually complementary propositions P1 (θ). independent of the particular set of mutually complementary propositions considered (see Fig. It is of importance to note that we can invent this mapping freely. Thus. i2 (θ ). i2 (θ). Then. P3 (θ).5: Representation of the state of a quantum system by the information vector i(θ). P2 (θ). Such a set of propositions is.3 Malus’ Law in Quantum Mechanics List of mutually complementary propositions: 83 3 i(θ ) i3 (θ) 2 i1 (θ) P1 (θ) P2 (θ) P3 (θ) Parametric axis 1 i2 (θ) θ Space of information Figure 3. Here. Note that different lists of three mutually complementary propositions are labelled by a single experimental parameter θ as given in Fig. We wish to specify a mapping of θ onto i(θ ). They correspond to different representations i(θ ) = (i1 (θ ).” and P3 (θ ): ”The spin is up along the direction at the angle θ + 90◦ ”. this will result in a continuous change of the information vector. The reason for this is that θ will have functional relations to other physical parameters of the experiment. the direction θ is assumed to be by lying in the y-z plane oriented at an angle θ with respect to the z-axis.

Then. They correspond to the following two sets of mutually complementary propositions: {P1 (0): ”The spin along the x-axis is up”. i. and {P1 (θ): ”The spin along x-axis is up”. when an elementary system is ”entangled” with other elementary systems.e. The total information carried by the spin is independent of the particular set of mutually complementary propositions considered. Itotal = I1 (0) + I2 (0) + I3 (0) = 1 + 0 + 0 = 1 = I1 (θ) + I2 (θ) + I3 (θ) in the example shown. for all θ 2 2 Itotal = I1 (θ ) + I2 (θ ) + I3 (θ ) = i2 1 (θ ) + i2 (θ ) + i3 (θ ). i. one may then choose any set of mutually complementary propositions to represent our knowledge of the system. P3 (0): ”The spin along the z-axis is up”}. P3 (θ): ”The spin along the direction tilted at angle θ + 90◦ from the z-axes is up”}.e. the total information content of the composite system .7) The principle of quantization of information implies 0 ≤ Itotal ≤ 1 (3. (3. The maximal value of one bit of information is reached when only one single proposition with a definite truth value is assigned to the system (”pure state”). This may occur when an elementary system is a constituent of a larger composite system.6: Two different sets of mutually complementary spin measurements (the fully set includes also the spin measurement along the x-axis which is not shown in the figures). the total information about the system being invariant under that choice.84 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure Quantum Theory Figure 3.e. i. Note that we also include the cases when an elementary system carries an amount of information less than what is necessary to assign a definite truth value to one single proposition. P2 (θ): ”The spin along the direction tilted at angle θ from the z-axes is up”. P2 (0): ”The spin along the y-axis is up”.8) for the information content of an elementary system.

6 for a detailed discussion and for the relation between the linearity of evolution law (there the parameter θ is time) and the no-superluminal-signaling requirement. The property of invariance of the total information carried by an elementary system implies that with a gradually changed experimental parameter from θ0 to θ1 the information vector rotates in the space of information with conservation of the length of the information vector as given in Fig. Suppose (3. 3. no proposition with a definite truth value can be made about the individual elementary systems (”completely mixed state”).9) .2).3 Malus’ Law in Quantum Mechanics 85 might be partially encoded in specific joint properties of the composite system. ˆ (θ1 − θ0 . 3. No particular information vector is preferred by our foundational principle and the relation of equivalence between all possible information vectors is maintained by the transformation law. Equation (3. that is. that the parametric θ -axis is homogeneous.9) expresses our expectation that the transformation law is linear. θ0 ) is an orthonormal matrix where R ˆ −1 (θ1 − θ0 . That means precisely that initially equally distributed information vectors in the whole space of information will be transformed again in equally distributed final information vectors. the information content of the individual constituents attains its minimal value of 0 bits of information. R Notice that transformation matrices do not build up a group in general because of the explicit dependence on both the initial and final parametric value. we cannot observe any effect. We assume that no physical process a priori distinguishes one specific value of the physical parameter from others. In the case of maximal entanglement there cannot be any information carried by the individual constituents. In our example with the orientation of Stern-Gerlach magnets as an experimental parameter. 2. The homogeneity of the parametric axis precisely requires that if we transform physical situations of three complementary experiments together with the state of the system along the parametric axis for any real number b. θ0 ) = R ˆ T (θ1 − θ0 .e. the homogeneity of the parametric axis becomes equivalent to the isotropy of the ordinary space. i. i(θ1 ) = R ˆ (θ1 − θ0 .7. leaving less than 1 bit of information to specify the properties of individual constituents (see Sec. and no further possibility exists to also encode information in the individual constituents. See also Sec. Then. θ0 ). independent of the actual information vector transformed. because the complete information of the composite system is exhausted in defining joint properties.3. i. θ0 )i(θ0 ). that is.e.

7: A generalized rotation of the information vector from i(θ0 ) to i(θ1 ) due to a change of the physical parameter from θ0 to θ1 . θ0 + b). and not on the location of these values on the parametric θ -axis. suppose the information vectors i(θ0 ) and i(θ0 + b) associated to the two lists of complementary experiments are equal (i. 3. ˆ (θ − θ0 . θ0 + b)i(θ0 + b). R (3.12) We give another line of reasoning. two lists of mutually complementary experimental arrangements are associated to a specific parametric value θ0 and to some other value θ0 + b (−∞ < b < +∞) respectively. .86 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure Quantum Theory 3 Lists of mutually complementary propositions i(θ1 ) i(θ0 ) 2 1 P1 (θ0 ) P2 (θ0 ) P3 (θ0 ) θ0 P1 (θ1 ) P2 (θ1 ) P3 (θ1 ) θ1 Space of information Parametric axis Figure 3. that is to require the same functional dependence of the transformation law for each initial value θ0 of the parameter.10). θ0 ) = R ˆ (θ − θ0 . 0 g(θ ) f (θ )   (3. the resulting information vectors will be equivalent as shown in Fig. The homogeneity of the parametric θ -axis then requires that if we change the physical parameter in each experiment by an equal interval of θ − θ0 in the two lists of complementary experiments. all components of the two vectors are equal).10) The transformation matrix then depends only on the difference between the initial and final value of the experimental parameter.8. Formally. This can only be done with Eq.11) where f (θ ) and g(θ ) are not yet specified but continuous functions satisfying f 2 (θ ) + g2 (θ ) = 1. The orthogonality condition leads to the following general form of the transformation matrix 1 0 0   ˆ R(θ ) =  0 f (θ ) −g(θ )  . f (0) = 1 and g(0) = 0.e. 5 (3. Furthermore. (3. θ0 )i(θ0 ) = R ˆ (θ − θ0 . if i(θ0 ) = i(θ0 + b) for all θ0 implies R then5 ˆ (θ − θ0 .

For the special case of infinitesimally small variation of the experimental conditions. R (3. (3.3 Malus’ Law in Quantum Mechanics Lists of mutually complementary propositions P 1 ( θ0 ) P 2 ( θ0 ) P 3 ( θ0 ) θ0 P 1 (θ ) P 2 (θ ) P 3 (θ ) θ i(θ0 ) Parametric axis P 1 ( θ0 + b ) P 2 ( θ0 + b ) P 3 ( θ0 + b ) θ0 + b P 1 (θ + b) P 2 (θ + b) P 3 (θ + b) θ +b i(θ0 + b) i(θ + b) 87 3 3 i(θ) 1 2 1 2 Space of information Space of information Figure 3.11) of the transformation matrix into the latter expression. We further require that a change of the experimental parameter in a set of mutually complementary arrangements from θ0 to θ1 and subsequently from θ1 to θ2 must have the same physical effect as a direct change of the parameter from θ0 to θ2 . eq.1 we show that continuity of the functions f (θ ) and g(θ ) is a . one obtains f (θ + dθ ) = f (θ )f (dθ ) − g(θ )g(dθ ).8: The homogeneity of the parametric θ-axis. R (3.13) This together with the property that for θ = θ0 (no changes of the physical situations of the complementary experiments) the transformation matrix equals ˆ (0) = I ˆ) implies that transformation matrices build up the the unity matrix (R group of rotations SO(3). a connected subgroup of the group of orthogonal matrices O(3) which contains the identity transformation.13) reads ˆ (θ + dθ ) = R ˆ (θ )R ˆ (dθ ).14) Inserting the form (3.15) In Appendix B. whether ˆ (θ1 − θ0 ) and R ˆ (θ2 − θ1 ) or a single we apply two consecutive transformations R ˆ (θ2 − θ0 ) transformation R ˆ (θ2 − θ0 ) = R ˆ (θ2 − θ1 )R ˆ (θ1 − θ0 ).3. (3. Here we take θ0 = 0 for simplicity. The resulting transformation will then be independent.

18) (3. (3. or with the phase shift ∆φ = nθ between two paths inside the interferometer in the interference experiment with a Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer.15) into the differential equation df (θ ) = −n 1 − f 2 (θ ). 1999(b)]. The solution of the differential equation reads f (θ ) = cos nθ. with n = 1/2 for electrons and neutrinos and a relative orientation θ between the spin vector and the measurement direction in the Stern-Gerlach experiment.1 and 3. dθ (3. For the latter see also Sec. 2. the probability must vary as cos2 nθ . or with n = 2 for gravitons and θ for a relative polarization angle. . In a world whose most elementary constituents give a definite result in one specific experiment only.16) where n = −g (0) is a constant. Using conditions (3.12). This finally leads to 1 0 0   ˆ R(θ ) =  0 cos nθ − sin nθ  .4.17) where we integrate between 0 and θ using the condition f (0) = 1. we now may transform Eq. Our world is built just this way. 0 sin nθ cos nθ And this result directly leads to the familiar expression p = cos2 nθ 2   (3. or with n = 1 for photons and a relative orientation θ between the polarization vector and the Nicol prism in the polarization experiment [Brukner and Zeilinger.19) for probability in quantum theory. (3.88 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure Quantum Theory necessary and sufficient condition for their analyticity.

Another interesting property is that the deBroglie wavelength is not Galilei invariant [L´ evy-Leblond 1974. and therefore the deBroglie wavelength does not have an immediate conceptual significance. To the contrary. i. it changes according to k = k + mv/¯ h. the deBroglie wavelength is only defined through interference experiment.4 The deBroglie Wavelength 89 3. 1990]. Since the deBroglie wavelength is only defined through interference experiments and the interference is further closely related to information. None of these properties are shared by classical waves. which again means that it only helps us to calculate statistical predictions of the distributions of particles in an interference experiment. This may be seen as a corollary of Eq. (3.20) The deBroglie wavelength therefore is not gauge invariant.e.3. when at least two paths P 1 and P 2. the deBroglie wavelength only appears in experimental predictions in the form of a path integral over closed loops kdr . (3. interfere ei P1 k ·dr + ei P2 k·dr =e i P 1+P 2 k·dr = ei k·dr Then. Yet. to reveal any information about the path the .20) because mvdr = 0. but also make this picture false [Zeilinger. the deBroglie wavelength has rather strange properties not found in any classical wave which not only limits its usefulness for obtaining such a picture of the deBroglie wave. as identified through the observation that interference appears whenever the particle is measured such that this measurement is not able. not even in principle. It merely evidences itself as an aid to calculating interference pattern. For example. albeit possible neighboring ones.4 The deBroglie Wavelength The concept of the deBroglie wavelength is often used in obtaining a picture of the deBroglie wave as a real wave all over space. Strictly speaking. 1976]. all predictions remain unchanged if we simply substitute k = k + q with q · dr = 0..

particle takes.90 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory Figure 3.9: Principle sketch of three mutually exclusive interference experiments with a Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer. Suppose that in the presence of the extension x of the upper path inside the interferometer. Into each of the two paths inside the interferometer in Fig. 3. By a gradual change of the extension of the path inside the interferometer. 3. and P3 (x): ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in the presence of the extension x + λ/4 of the . Analogous to the interference experiment analyzed in Sec. we have absolutely no knowledge which path the particle will take behind the beam splitter. The length of the upper path inside the interferometer is adjustable.1 we have three mutually complementary propositions. P2 (x): ”The particle takes the upper path inside the interferometer”.9). the particle will exit with certainty towards the upper (lower) detector behind the beam splitter.9b a detector is inserted with the property that it detects the particle without absorbing it. In the extreme case of the presence of the extension x + λ/4 of the upper path inside the interferometer. In what follows we shall analyze mutually complementarity propositions in an interference experiment with an idealized Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer where the length of the upper path inside the interferometer is adjustable (Fig. The various complete sets of mutually complementary propositions might be labeled by a parameter x: P1 (x): ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in the presence of the extension x of the path”. In this case we have complete knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter at the expense of the fact that we have absolutely no knowledge of which path the particle took inside the interferometer. our knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter will decrease. 2. we suggest that the deBroglie wavelength must be based on the much more fundamental concept of information.

Note that λ has dimension of the length in the ordinary space.9a and Fig. This shows again the existence of a minimal extension xmin = 2π/k =: λ of the path of the particle inside the interferometer (in the ordinary space) for which the information vector makes one complete rotation in the space of information (Fig. that is.21) . the continuous extension of the upper path inside the interferometer in the two mutually exclusive experiments in Fig.4 The deBroglie Wavelength 91 Which-path 2 information i(x) 1 List of mutually complementary propositions P1 (x) P2 (x) P3 (x) x 3 Space of information λ Extension of the path Figure 3. We therefore define the deBroglie wavelength λ as the (3. Since ordinary space is homogeneous.3.10: One complete rotation of the information vector after an extension of λ of the path inside the interferometer in Fig. path”. We therefore obtain i1 (x) = i1 (0) cos(kx) − i3 (0) sin(kx) i2 (x) = i2 (0) i3 (x) = i1 (0) sin(kx) + i3 (0) cos(kx). By a gradual change of the experimental parameter x in three mutually exclusive arrangements we may reduce our knowledge about one of the propositions P1 (x) or P3 (x) increasing correspondingly our knowledge about the other. 3. This then leads immediately to Malus’ law for the quantum interference experiment. where k has dimension [1/length]. 3. 3. no specific value of the parameter x will be preferred. According to the general solution (3. 3.10). In the space of information this corresponds to a rotation of the information vector around the axis that is associated to the which-path information (the change of the length of the path inside the interferometer does not affect our information i2 (x) about the particle’s path inside the interferometer).9.9c will result in a periodic change of information between i1 (x) and i3 (x) regarding the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam-splitter in the two complementary experiments respectively.18). there is no physical process that distinguishes one location in ordinary space from others.

92 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory minimal extension of the path inside the interferometer after which information about any proposition P (that differs from P2 ) takes the same value. the deBroglie wavelength is defined through the relation iP (x + λ) = iP (x) ∀P = P2 . Formally.22) . (3.

predictions about future properties of a system. an example for a system that .5 Dynamics of Information 93 3. A physical system and rest of the world are two subsystems. that is. in general probabilistic. these predictions can be verified or falsified by performing measurements and checking whether the experimental results agree with our predictions. The Liouville equation will be derived from the differential equation describing the motion of the information vector in the information space. Using information obtained in previous observations we wish to make predictions about the future. in general probabilistic.5 Dynamics of Information Any assignment of properties to an object is only due to observation. In quantum mechanics this connection between past observation and future observation exactly is achieved by the Liouville’s equation (for pure states it reduces to the Schr¨ odinger equation) dρ ˆ(t) ˆ (t). Using the Liouville equation we can derive a time evolved final state ρ ˆ(t) at some future time t. more precisely. the system is a kinematically independent subsystem of the world under the influence of the environment (in a special case this influence is not present). In this section the dynamics of a quantum system is formulated as a time evolution of the catalog of our knowledge of the system. predictions for any possible future observation of the system. 2. Clearly. This is specified by the evolution of the information vector in the space of information. A physical system has a dynamical independence from its environment. the physical system has kinematical independence from its environment: there are certain physical properties and/or parameters that uniquely and at every time determine the system (see below for examples). that is. dt i¯ h The initial state ρ ˆ(t0 ) represents all our information as obtained by earlier observation. ρ = [H ˆ(t)].3. To give a concrete counter example. Or. that is. to make specific statements about results of future observations based on past observations. This state represents our knowledge necessary to arrive at a set of. It is then important to connect past observations with future observations. Again our predictions might be formulated as. From the dynamical point of view one may alter five classes of physical systems in a way that each class is a special case of the previous one: 1. but this influence is not changed by the change of the state of the system (there is no back-reaction from the system to the environment).

A physical system is conservative when the energy of the system is constant in time although the external field could be present. Suppose further that our system and the N elementary systems in the environment are initially completely separated from each other. a system of isolated particles that do not interact with each other. Now let the initially separated subsystems interact with each other. 4. Let us consider a single elementary system that is dynamically dependent from the environment. An opposite example. One can not define an external field for a neutron because the influence of a proton on a neutron depends on actual state of the neutron and changes with the change of this state. when the environment takes energy from the system (a particle in a Wilson-chamber). the total information of the two subsystems must still be represented by N + 1 propositions. Suppose the environment of the system consists of another N elementary systems. consider a neutron in a deuterion (the nuclei consisting of a proton and a neutron in the nuclear interaction). is an electron in field of nuclei. Evidently one proposition is represented by our system under consideration and N propositions are represented by the environment. 3. that is. A contrary example.94 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory is kinematically but not dynamically independent. that is. when it is not under influence of the environment. A physical system is isolated when it is not in the external field. An counter example is a system of isolated charged particles. A physical system of free particles. we observe whenever there is pumping of energy from the environment to the system (a proton in a variable electromagnetical field of a cyclotron) or. an example of a dynamically independent but nonconservative system. We therefore consider our elementary system and the environment as the two subsystems of a larger system of N + 1 elementary systems which by our principle represent N+1 propositions. By complete separation we mean that we have no interaction between the elementary system and the environment. It is then suggestive to assume that the information represented jointly by the two subsystems is conserved during the interaction process. In the latter case we have information exchange between our system and . Either it will still be represented by the two subsystems individually in a way that one proposition is represented by our system and N propositions are represented by its environment. That is. that is. the interaction can neither increase the total amount of information represented jointly by the two subsystems nor reduce it. an example for a conservative but nonisolated system. or it will be represented by the two subsystems in a joint way. After the interaction. 5. that is.

For a system dynamically independent from the environment and not exposed to measurements. time dependence or resonance character of the external field of the system. t0 ) = where K ˆ (t. im (t0 )) of a complete set of m mutually complementary observations.25) ˆ (t. summarizing the individual measures of information (Eq..31) over a complete set of m mutually complementary observations at the two times. t0 ) di(t) dR ˆ (t. i(t) = R (3.3. (3.24) in time and find ˆ (t.6 for a detailed discussion and for the relation between linearity of evolution law and the no-superluminal-signaling requirement. t0 ).. In the extreme case our system may even carry no information on its own. there is no information exchange with the environment and the total information content of the system is conserved. This is possible if the information vector rotates in the space of information ˆ (t.t0 ) T dR ˆ (t.e. The conservation of the total information content of the system corresponds to the conservation of the length of the information vector during its motion in the information space. . We therefore obtain an ultimate constant of the motion independent of the strength. We represent the state of a system at time t0 by the catalog of all our information i(t0 ) = (i1 (t0 ). (3. If the system is not dynamically independent from the environment then we cannot formulate the time evolution of the system alone (independent of the environment) but we have to consider it as a subsystem of a larger system that is dynamically independent.24) Equation (3.24) expresses our expectation that the evolution law is linear in the space of information.. R dt (3. independent of the actual information vector transformed. See Sec. 1. 3. m m Itotal (t) = i=1 Ii (t) = i=1 Ii (t0 ) = Itotal (t0 ). i.23) Here. we calculate the total information content of the system at an initial time t0 and some later time t. that is. t0 )i(t0 ). We take a derivative of Eq.5 Dynamics of Information 95 the environment during the interaction and this may result in a decrease of the total amount of information represented by the system. t0 ) is antisymmetric beThe operator K . t0 )i(t) = i(t0 ) = K dt dt ˆ (t.

t0 ) lim R ˆ T (t.27) might be seen as a formulation of the dynamical law for information. t0 ) that itself changes in the course of time. t0 ) = −K = lim R ∆t→0 ∆t If we constrain our consideration to an elementary system and an associated three-dimensional information space. t0 ) K ∆t→0 dt ∆t ˆ (t + ∆t. Based on our known features of quantum physics. t0 ) = R R ∆t→0 ∆t ˆ (t. In the space of information this is described by Eq. we may uniquely associate the ”vector of ˆ by the relation6 rotation” u with any antisymmetric operator K ˆ =u∧y Ky for all y. t0 ). The Eq. u2 = −k31 . t0 ) − R R ˆ (t. (3. Suppose that the quantum state of the system is For an elementary system and the associated three-dimensional information space. t0 ) ∧ i(t). t0 ) = R ˆ (t. t0 ) − R ˆ (t + ∆t. t0 ) − R (t. (3. t0 ) ˆ (t. . t0 ) lim R (t + ∆t. u3 = k21 .27). We now rewrite Eq. It describes how individual measures of information for a complete set of mutually complementary propositions evolve in time. 0  We may now read out the components of the vector of rotation u as u1 = k32 . we will now argue for the validity of Eq. t0 ) = R ˆ (t. the ˆ will be represented by an antisymmetric matrix operator K 0 ˆ =  k21 K k31 6  −k21 0 k32 −k31 −k32  .27) as a rotation of a single information vector around the axis u(t.25) as di(t) = u(t. t0 ) R ˆ (t. (3. (3.27) We formulate the evolution of a quantum state in time as an evolution of the catalog of our knowledge of the system. t0 ) dR (t. ˆ T (t. (3. t0 ) ˆ T (t + ∆t. dt (3.26) where ”∧” denotes vector product.96 cause Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory ˆT ˆT ˆT ˆ T (t.

5 Dynamics of Information 97 described by the density matrix ρ ˆ. dt 2 j =1 dt i¯ h (3.j =1 3 ˆk .27) is the fixed axis in time around which the information vector rotates.j.31) ˆ (t) such that Introducing the operator H ˆ (t)σi ). ijk ui (t)ij σ (3. apart from that of the total information content of the system.29) Inserting Eq. The component of the .30) Since the Pauli matrices satisfy [ˆ σi . (3. k =1 ijk σ we proceed with i¯ h (3. dt (3. ui (t) := T r (H we finally obtain the well-known Lioville’s equation dρ ˆ(t) ˆ (t). σ ˆj ] = 2i dρ ˆ(t) 1 3 ui (t)ij (ˆ σi σ ˆj − σ ˆj σ ˆi ).k=1 i¯ h ˆk . We decompose the density matrix into the unity operator and the generators of SU(2) algebra (Pauli matrices) 1ˆ 1 3 ρ ˆ(t) = I ij (t)ˆ σj . y. (3. + 2 2 j =1 (3.28) in time we obtain dρ ˆ(t) 1 3 ij (t) = σ ˆj . namely our information about the energy of the system. the evolution of a quantum state in time is constrained by a higher constant of motion.3. ρ = [H ˆ(t)]. If we take a derivative of Eq. z ) and ij (t) = T r ρ ˆ(t)ˆ σj is information about the spin along the direction j at time t.27) on the right-hand side we find dρ ˆ(t) i 3 = dt 2 i. In the space of information this corresponds to the rotation of the information vector around a fixed axis that is associated to our knowledge of energy of the system.33) For a special case of a conservative system.28) where σ ˆj is spin operator along the direction j (j = x. This is only possible if the axis u in Eq. (3. = dt 4 i.32) i¯ h (3.

34) We emphasize that by information about the energy of the system we mean our knowledge about the truth value of the proposition PE : ”The energy of the system is E1 ” that can be verified directly by an appropriately designed experiment. the information vector needs to make one complete rotation in the space of information (Fig.98 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory Axis assosoated u(t) to the information about energy i(t) 1 iE (t) 3 2 t Space of information T Time Figure 3. i.11). 3.4). 3. Analogous to the deBroglie wavelength (see Sec. 3.” Rotation of the information vector around a fixed axis implies the existence of the minimal interval of time. that is. Projection of the information vector i(t) onto the axis u gives information iE about the energy of the system. Formally.11). u iE = (3. u·i . two-level systems having only two energy eigenvalues E1 and E2 .11: One complete rotation of the information vector after a time elapse of the wave-period T . . Since we consider elementary systems. the truth value of the proposition ”The energy of the system is E1 ” is always a negation of the truth value of the proposition ”The energy of the system is E2 . the deBroglie waveperiod can be defined as the minimal time interval T after which information about any proposition P (that differs from the proposition PE concerning the energy of the system) takes the same value. the deBrogllie wavepriod is defined through the relation iP (t + T ) = iP (t) for all P = PE . information vector that remains conserved in time and therefore corresponds to the information iE about the energy of the system is obtained by the projection of the information vector onto the fixed rotation axis u (Fig.e.

35) If the system is dynamically independent from the environment and not exposed to measurements. 7 .. (3. namely linearity gt (ai1 + bi2 ) = agt (i1 ) + bgt (i2 ) ∀a. im ) of a complete set of m mutually complementary observations. Itotal (t) = |gt (i)|2 = |i |2 = Itotal (0). we have7 gt (i1 ) · gt (i2 ) = i1 · i2 (3. b ∈ R and ∀i1 .. Similarly. we can interpret | ψ1 (t)|ψ2 (t) |2 as the corresponding probability at the later time t. The assumption of preserving the scalar product says that these probabilities are the same.. the scalar product. i.6 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication 99 3.3.6 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication Assume that the catalog of our knowledge of an individual system at time t = 0 contains all our information i = (i1 . .e. i2 . For the information vectors i1 and i2 both given at time t = 0 and evolving respectively into gt (i1 ) and gt (i2 ) at some future time t. only when the mapping is both unitary and linear. The evolution law in quantum mechanics described by the Schr¨ odinger equation is an example of an unitary mapping. there will be no information exchange with the environment. Suppose further that the mapping which evolves all individual values of the information from the catalog of our knowledge of the system in time is defined as gt : i → gt (i). (3. We can then interpret | ψ1 |ψ2 |2 as the probability of finding the state represented by |ψ2 as a result of a measurement at time t = 0 if the state was represented by |ψ1 .37) This implies that the mapping describing the evolution law in quantum mechanics preserves the scalar product between two information vectors. In fact. or equivalently the angle. Besides the property of unitarity.36) We call the mapping that preserves the length of the information vectors the unitary mapping. the evolution law in quantum mechanics is specified by one other important property. (3.38) in quantum mechanics. between two information It can easily be obtained that i1 · i2 = 2| ψ1 |ψ2 |2 − 1 where the vectors i1 and i2 in the space of information are associated with the pure states |ψ1 and |ψ2 in the Hilbert space respectively. and the total information content of the system (the length of the information vector) will be conserved.

12a). there cannot be any information carried by the individuals. 3. The maximally entangled two-particle state (3. Alice and Bob. several thousand light years)..g. We will show that this evolution allows the construction of experimental situations where the information is transferred arbitrarily fast. we suggest that the property of linearity follows from the no-superluminal-signaling requirement. (3. By homogeneously distributed information vectors we precisely mean a set of information vectors distributed over the whole information space and separated from each other by an equal solid angle. for i = ai1 + bi2 we obtain |gt (i)|2 = |i|2 ⇒ a2 |gt (i1 )|2 +b2 |gt (i2 )|2 +2ab gt (i1 ) · gt (i2 ) =|i1 |2 =|i2 |2 = a2 |i1 |2 + b2 |i2 |2 + 2ab i1 · i2 ⇒ gt (i1 ) · gt (i2 ) = i1 · i2 . Suppose that particle 2 when it comes to Bob is influenced by an external field in Bob’s local environment and that this influence is described by an unitary and nonlinear evolution function gt (Fig.. The source emits continuously pairs of spin-1/2 particles in the singlet state 1 |ψ = √ (|z + 1 |z − 2 2 1 − |z − 1 |z + 2 ) = √ (|x+ 1 |x− 2 2 − |x− 1 |x+ 2 ). A source of pairs of spin-1/2 particles is placed between them. far away from each other (e. halfway between Alice and Bob. This implies that initially homogeneously distributed information vectors over the whole space of information will be transformed again in homogeneously distributed final information vectors. Consider two observers. Because the two bits of information are exhausted in specifying spin correlations.39) represents the two-bit combination false-false of the truth values of the propositions: ”The two spins are equal along the z-axis” and ”The two spins are equal along the x-axis”.39) such that particle 1 travels towards Alice and particle 2 towards Bob. Then.g. From what deeper foundations emerges the property of preserving the scalar product in the evolution law in quantum mechanics? While we know that the unitarity of the evolution law follows from the requirement of conservation of the total information of the system during the evolution.100 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory vectors i1 and i2 will be preserved during the evolution. and they are described by a completely mixed state 1ˆ ρ ˆ= I 2 . e.

This procedure is illustrated in Fig. e. If the mapping is non-unitary and linear (Fig.. According to the truth value (true or false) of that . 2.12: Two different mappings gt : i → g (i) describing the time evolution of the state of the system in the space of information. b) the evolution does not conserve the total information of the system and does not allow superluminal signaling (see discussion in the text below). 1. Alice does not make any measurement on particle 1. equivalently by the zero vector i=0 in the space of information.g. gt (0) = 0. We emphasize again that by representing the truth value false of the proposition: ”The two spins are equal along the z-axis” we mean a statement that can be verified directly by experiment. Now consider the following two physical situations. After the measurement on particle 1. or. Because there is no information exchange between particle 2 and the environment.6 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication 101 Figure 3. Alice first measures the spin of particle 1 along z and subsequently particle 2 evolves according to the evolution function gt .e. by measuring spin of particle 1 along z to be up (down) and subsequently measuring the spin of particle 2 along the same direction to be (down) up. Since the information content of the composite system is specified by the truth value (false) of the proposition: ”The two spins are equal along the z-axis”.3.13a. i. the initial information vector i = 0 of particle 2 evolves in time to an information vector of the equal length. 3. a) the evolution conserves the total information of the system and enables superluminal signaling. the measurement on particle 1 immediately gives the information content in the spin along z of particle 2. particle 2 is specified by the truth value of the proposition: ”The spin of particle 2 is up along z”. If the mapping is unitary and nonlinear (Fig.

i. |gt (i1 )|2 = |i1 |2 = 1 and |gt (i2 )|2 = |i2 |2 = 1. half of particles 2 will be described by the information vector i1 =(0. This precisely means that the probabilities for all outcomes of all possible observations of an individual system described by i (where i can. just formally. preserving their norm but changing the angle between them (unitary and nonlinear mapping). be written as w1 i1 + w2 i2 ) are equal to those for a classical mixture of two sub-ensembles with fraction w1 having information vector i1 and fraction w2 having information vector i2 .+1) and the other half by i2 =(0.0. Because there is no information exchange between an individual particle 2 and the environment.-1). the two information vectors associated with particle 2 having spin up and spin down along z evolve independently. Particles 1 and 2 are initially in a maximally entangled two-particle state (3.13: An unitary and nonlinear evolution of particle 2 in time. One may easily see that the information vector associated to an ensemble of particles with fraction w1 of particles having information vector i1 and fraction w2 of particles having information vector i2 is given by w1 i1 + w2 i2 . If particle 1 is not measured. information may be transferred arbitrarily fast. The resulting information vector is not a zero vector any more. The individual information vectors i1 and i2 evolve in the course 1 of time independently. proposition.13b. This procedure is illustrated in Fig. The coefficients 2 are the weighing factors introduced because a measurement on particle 1 gives each of the two possible outcomes half the time. If the spin of particle 1 along z is measured. In our example. By choosing whether to measure particle 1 or not. giving 1 2 gt (i1 ) + 2 gt (i2 ) for the information vector of the whole ensemble of particles 2 at time t.e.0. the total information content of each individual particle 2 remains conserved in time.39). 3. the information vector of particle 2 remains the zero vector (unitary mapping). .102 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory Figure 3. the information vector associated with the ensemble of particles 2 immediately after the measurement of particle 1 is per1 1 formed is 1 2 i1 + 2 i2 = 0.

1993] analysis of Weinberg’s [Weinberg. If the spin of particle 1 along z is measured.41) This is a case of Weinberg’s proposal for the interaction of a spin-1/2 particle and an external electric quadrupole. 2..3. 1989(a). and subsequently particle 2 evolves according to gt (Fig. We consider the following nonlinear and unitary (norm preserving) evolution law defined in terms of the wave function dψ = −2i σz σz ψ dt where σz = ψ |σz |ψ . Therefore by choosing whether or not to measure particle 1 (or. 1989(b)] proposal for introducing non-linear corrections into ordinary quantum-mechanics. 2 2 2 2 103 (3. (3. Alice first measures the spin of particle 1 along z.e. In particular. by choosing to measure particle 1 in two adequately chosen bases. i. the initial states of particle 2 with spin up and down along z are stationary according to the evolution equation (3. let us briefly review Gisin’s [Gisin. 3.41) and consider again the following two physical situations: 1. To illustrate this.6 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication Now.40) the two information vectors of the ensemble of particles 2 resulting from the two procedures given above are not the same and can be distinguished by Bob (Fig. 3. Now suppose that the evolution gt of particle 2 in our example is exactly described by Eq. 3.14a). Alice first measures the spin of particle 1 along the direction u lying in the x-z plane at 45◦ with respect to z-axis. and subsequently particle 2 evolves according to gt (Fig.13). see the example below) Alice may communicate with Bob arbitrarily fast.41). 1 1 1 1 gt (i1 ) + gt (i2 ) = gt (0 = i1 + i2 ) = 0.14b). ψ |ψ (3. the mean value σy t (= the y-component of 1 the information vector 1 2 gt (i1 ) + 2 gt (i2 ) associated to the whole ensemble of particles 2) is always zero. if the evolution law gt is not linear. 1990. However. if the spin of particle 1 along the direction .

the individual spins will have the same positive value of σy t (Fig. then the individual information vectors associated to particles 2 with spin up and down along z are stationary and result in the zero vector in a weighted sum. giving a nonzero vector in the weighted sum. If the spin of particle 1 along u is measured. Therefore. By distinguishability we mean a measure of how large the probabilities for outcomes of all mutually complementary experiments differ from each other for different subensembles . If the spin of particle 1 along z is measured. the initial states of particle 2 with spin up and spin down along u rotate around the z-axis with the same frequency but in opposite directions.104 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory Figure 3. after a time elapse of one quarter of the period. Otherwise. Because there is no information exchange between an individual particle and the environment and there is also no information exchange between individual particles themselves (individual particles are assumed not to interact with each other). 3. by the choice of the measurement basis for particle 1 Alice may communicate with Bob arbitrarily fast. In particular. this change cannot be assumed to originate in the change of the information contents of individual constituents of the ensemble.14: An example of nonlinear and unitary evolution according to Weinberg’s model. the length of the information vectors i1 and i2 will not be conserved. implying that the mean value σy t is not zero any more. u is measured. We view the change of the information content of the ensemble as a consequence of the change of the distinguishability of individual constituents of the ensemble as measured by a complete set of mutually complementary observations. information may be transferred arbitrarily fast. the corresponding individual information vectors of particles 2 rotate in opposite directions.14b). We see that the information content of a classical mixture of particles 2 with spin up and spin down along direction u changes in the course of time under the assumption of the non-linearity of the evolution law. By the choice to measure particle 1 along z or along u.

Our discussion suggests that an adequate measure of distinguishability might be the scalar product i1 · i2 . 1986). and the principle that an elementary system carries one bit of information together with the requirement that this information is conserved if there is no information exchange. The important result of the discussion so far is that the no-superluminal signaling principle: Information cannot be transferred arbitrarily fast. might be seen as an independent foundational principle for quantum mechanics and another requirement necessary for the derivation of the essential features of the structure of the quantum theory besides the principle of quantization of information. is an example of a linear and non-unitary function of information vectors in the space of information description. 1993). This certainly deserves much more rigorous analysis than that presented here.. such suggestions are not just interpretations but are actually real alternatives to quantum theory. Rimini and Weber (Ghirardi et al. like that proposed by Ghirardi.6 Linearity and Arbitrarily Fast Communication 105 (each subensemble consisting of indistingushable individuals) of the ensemble. we show that the quantum evolution law preserves distinguishability of individual constituents of the ensemble.12b and Ref. . 1990. 3. and in view of its superb mathematical beauty and symmetry. In view of the extremely high precision with which the quantum theory has been experimentally confirmed. The linearity of quantum theory might then be possible to be derived from both the no-superluminal signaling principle. 1989. However. we consider the final success of such attempts to be extremely unlikely. For completeness we note that an evolution law described by the stochastic equation (in the sense that an initial pure state may evolve into the mixture of pure states). However. Such an evolution does not preserve the total information content of the system and does not allow instantaneous signaling (see Fig.3. Gisin.

or to other instrumental problems). In the extreme case it is often even related to an instant collapse of some physical wave in space. The existence of two intrinsically different laws for the evolution of the quantum state is a standard subject for discussion of the so called ”measurement paradox” in quantum mechanics. (or more properly. Such a wave packet is more or less well-localized. What can be more natural than to change the representation of our knowledge if we gain new knowledge from the measurement performed on the system? When a measurement is performed. the quantum state.7 Change of Information in Measurement – ”Reduction of the Wave Packet” In this section. it will be argued that identifying the quantum state of a system with the catalog of our knowledge of the system will lead to the resolution of many of the seemingly paradoxical features of quantum mechanics. In agreement with the new knowledge. to insensitivity. and in a discontinuous fashion whenever the observer acquires new information about the system through the process of measurement (sometimes called as the ”collapse of the wave packet”) on the other. there is never a paradox if we realize that the wave function is just an encoded mathematical representation of our knowledge of the system. our knowledge of the system changes. In a quantum measurement. When the state of a quantum system has a non-zero value at some position in space at some particular time. that knowledge which is obtained by an ideal observer in an optimum experiment. A specific example is the case when we are actually considering a wave packet as being composed of a superposition of plane waves. but only that our knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of the system allows the particle the possibility of being present at that point at that instant. There is no basis for any such assumption.106 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory 3. and therefore its representation. This ”reduction of the wave packet” can only be seen as a”measurement paradox” if one views this change of the quantum state as a real physical process. In contrast. even those which describe our knowledge in the regions of space quite distant from the site . but we can always perform a position measurement on a wave packet which is better localized than the dimension of the packet itself. The state of a quantum system changes continuously by the dynamical law (described by the Schr¨ odinger equation) on one hand. it does not mean that the system is physically present at that point. also changes. it instantaneously changes all its components. the latter qualification covering the possibility that the actual experiment performed may be less than optimum due to noise. we find the system to be in one of the eigenstates of the observable defined by the measurement apparatus.

A measurement apparatus has to always include all the hardware necessary to actually read out the information in some way. The abrupt change by measurement .. Und zwar nicht etwa weil man einem Realding oder einem Modell ¨ nicht abrupte unvorhergesehene Anderung zumuten d¨ urfte. For example. die von der gefundenen Maßzahl abh¨ angt und sich nicht vorhersehen l¨ aßt. 107 of the measurement.. but because in the realism point of view observation is a natural process like any other and cannot per se bring about an interruption of the orderly flow of natural events. is the most interesting point of the entire theory. as translated by Jammer [1974]. With the sudden change of our knowledge also the mathematical presentation of our knowledge undergoes of course a sudden change. der ψ -Funktion (=dem Voraussagenkatalog) eine eigenartige.” 8 . is not a physical.. Die abrupte Ver¨ anderung durch die Messung . daß diese zweite Art von Ver¨ anderung der ψ -Funktion mit ihrem regelm¨ assigen Abrollen zwischen zwei Messungen nicht das mindeste zu tun hat. sondern weil vom realistischen Standpunkt die Beobachtung ein Naturvorgang ist wie jeder andere und nicht per se eine Unterbrechung des regelm¨ assigen Naturlaufs hervorrufen darf”.3. Aus diesem Grund kann man die ψ -Funktion nicht direkt an die Stelle des Modells oder des Realdings setzen. but rather.7 Change of Information in Measurement . his computer putting down the results of his experiments permanently onto a piece of paper works perfectly well as classical machine. on the other hand. which depends on the measurement result obtained. which leads to the reduction of the state. An experimentalist simply has never seen a measurement apparatus in his laboratory for which he had to assume the existence of a superposition of pointer positions. This is usually meant to imply that there is a pointer on the apparatus with a finite set of discrete and well-distinguishable positions.”. Then no need whatsoever arises to allude to notions like superluminal or instantaneous transmission of information. quite sudden change. And indeed not because one might never dare impute abrupt unforseen changes to a physical thing or to a model. In order to obtain ”For each measurement one is required to ascribe to the ψ -function (=the prediction catalog) a characteristic. ist der interessanteste Punkt der ganzen Theorie.. In order to obtain information about the system through an observation of the measurement apparatus. etwas pl¨ otzliche Ver¨ anderung zuzuschreiben. This view was assumed by Schr¨ odinger [1935] who wrote8 : ”Bei jeder Messung ist man gen¨ otigt. 1960: ”The act of recording. Yet. der den Bruch mit dem naiven Realismus verlangt. Es ist genau der Punkt.. from which alone it is already quite clear that this second kind of change of the ψ -function has nothing whatever in common with its orderly development between two measurements. For this reason one cannot put the ψ -function directly in place of the model or of the physical thing. so to say. It is precisely the point that demands the break with naive realism. a mathematical process. woraus allein schon deutlich ist. A closely related position was assumed by Heisenberg who wrote in a letter to Renninger dated February 2. it does not make any sense to talk about the quantum state of such an apparatus. we have to establish some correlations between the system and the apparatus. and so cannot be foreseen..

In a well-defined experiment. 0. i. Only when the information of the spin along the x-axis is complete (s = 1 or s = −1) and we actually measure the spin along the x-axis. For example. This information might not be complete. 0) where s ∈ [−1. the system will remain unchanged after the measurement is performed. it changes our knowledge in a way that the total information of an elementary system does not exceed 1 bit of information (1 − s2 ≤ 1).. Unlike a classical measurement. Otherwise. acquired about the system together with unavoidable and irrecoverable loss of complementary information (of the spin along orthogonal directions) because of the fundamental limitation on the total information content of a quantum system. 0. Assume that initially the total information carried by the particle is encoded in specifying the spin along the x-axis. 0. Consider a Stern-Gerlach experiment with a spin-1/2 particle. Suppose that the spin of our particle was initially up along the x-axis and that in the measurement of the spin along the z-axis. > Itotal = 1. (s. we will observe completely . A detection point on the upper or the lower photographic plate is associated to the spin value ”up” and ”down” respectively.e. The spin of the particle now represents the true proposition: ”The spin along the z-axis is down”. 0) = i< −→ (3. Although each individual particle of an ensemble of identically prepared and identically described particles are brought to the same measurement process. 1].15a).108 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory some knowledge of the quantum system we have to read the pointer position. After a measurement the state therefore must appear to be changed in accord with the new information (of the spin along z-axis). a quantum measurement therefore does not just add (if any) some knowledge > < Itotal − Itotal = 1 − s2 .42) After the measurement our knowledge about the spin along the z-direction is complete. if any. we now observe spin down (the lower photographic plate is hit by the particle). The two photographic plates are placed behind the magnet as schematically shown in Fig (3. We may then assign to the system the information vector i< = (s. observation of the apparatus will lead to the one well-defined answer that the pointer is found to be in a certain position and thus the system itself will be found in a well-defined state. our knowledge of the particle will change abruptly from before measurement after measurement > i = (0. −1). the measurement abruptly changes the system into a new state. if we measure spin along the z-axis and the lower photographic plate is hit by the particle.

therefore. a). On the other hand. In an individual experimental trial either the upper or the lower photographic plate will be impinged. ”irreversible amplification” in Bohr’s sense). hit in the actual individual measurement? It is just this point which seems central in many of the difficult problems of interpreting of quantum mechanics.15: The observation in the Stern-Gerlach experiment using a quantummechanical description. and.. We emphasize that the property of a system to carry an ”unsplittable bit of information” might be seen as a definition of a system as a ”particle”. A ’moment of occurrence of the event’ can only be seen macroscopically. and in classical wave description where detection is a result of a continuous increasing of the intensity of the whole pattern on both photographic plates simultaneously (Fig..3... Irreversibility is always only a highly probable feature . where detection appears as finite and indivisible event . 109 z a) 0 1 0 1 0 1 00 11 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 11 00 00 11 00 11 0 1 00 11 00 11 00 11 0 1 0 1 0 1 11 00 00 11 00 11 0 1 0 1 11 00 z b) Figure 3. an individual particle must end on one single photographic plate only9 (Fig. 3.. they always must have been created as an irreversible event . yes or no that is recorded constitutes an unsplittable bit of information” [Wheeler..never absolutely certain . 1989]... as long as no irreversible process happens. detection point on the photographic plate.. a finite and discrete event (click in the detector. an One may ask: Why events happen at all? Why is a photographic plate hit by a particle at all? These are justified questions. random measurement results. Because the gain of new information always emerges as an ”unsplittable bit of information”. This ”.” 9 . without a chance of defending it . rather than the upper one..impact on one of the two photographic plates (Fig... one might maintain the continuous evolution of any event without a chance of being refuted.7 Change of Information in Measurement . the fact that for every observed difference in individual events there are different causes? How do different outcomes emerge if all particles are equivalently described? Why is the lower photographic plate. Weizs¨ acker poses a slightly different question: ”When do events happen?” He argues that ”. b). Can this stochasticity of individual events be reduced to the causality.15a).

if we look at the moon. What physical consequences would imply the assumption that the formation of patterns at the photographic plates is not the result of successive discrete detection events.15b). carry enough information to specify observation-independent properties corresponding to all possible measurements. The situation is drastically different in quantum mechanics and it is just the very attitude of the Copenhagen interpretation to the fundamental role of observation which is a major intellectual step forward over naive classical realism. No information is left to also define the spin along the z-axis. For example. or spin values along orthogonal directions. In classical physics we can assume that an observation reveals some property already existing in the outside world. we as observers have a significant role in the measurement process. or the path of the system and the position of appearance in the interference pattern in the double-slit experiment. by orienting the magnet . We will now bring the role of the observer in a quantum measurement to the center of our discussion. we just find out where it is and it is certainly safe to assume that the property of the moon to be there is independent of whether anyone looks or not. a quantum measurement changes the system into one of the possible new states defined by the measurement apparatus in a fundamentally unpredictable way. For example. The detection process would no more be specified by the impact on one single photographic plate (Fig. not even in principle. but a result of the continuous increasing of the intensity of the whole pattern on both photographic plates? The observed phenomenon would then be described as a classical field rather than by the formalism where the probability for the occurrence of a specific discrete result has objective meaning. It is therefore fundamentally impossible to assign to a quantum system simultaneously complementary attributes like position and momentum.15a). 3. Here the classical world of classical waves. 3. like the waves we see on the surface of oceans.110 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory individual particle carries just one bit of information and this is completely exhausted in the definition of the spin along the x-axis. They would appear in a causal way. and thus cannot be claimed to reveal a property existing before the measurement is performed. The reason for this is again the fact that a quantum system cannot. However. One would then not observe stochasticity of an individual event. implying necessarily complete randomness in the landing of the particles on the two photographic plates. because we can decide by choosing the measuring device which attribute will be realized in the actual measurement. but by the infinitesimally small contribution to the darkening of both photographic plates simultaneously (Fig. naturally emerges from the assumption of infinitedivisibility of the portion of information a ”wave” can carry. With the only exception of the system being in an eigenstate of the measured observable.

111 in the Stern-Gerlach apparatus along some specific direction. the loss of some other knowledge.3. we can define which one of two complementary quantities may manifest itself. perhaps distant by thousand light-years.” What is really fascinating is that we can define which specific attribute of a particle may manifest itself at a distance. Since we are unavoidably constrained by the total information content of the system. Nature. and creates a new phenomena in Bohr’s sense. The latter. is closely connected to the finiteness of the quantum of action. position or momentum. yet if the spin components of the two particles are measured . Consider. Therefore. the qualifying influence. will be gained and simultaneously what complementary knowledge will be lost.” A very interesting and closely related position is assumed by Zeilinger [1996] who writes: ”Let us consider once again the impossibility of a detailed description of the individual statistical event in the sense of a fundamental unpredictability. By choosing which measurement device to use we can choose the kind of information we want to gain. jostle. In this state no definite proposition can be made about the spin of either particle. by measuring another distant particle that does not interact with the particle under consideration. Here.. an influence which specific result will materialize. By choosing which measurement device to use on the first particle we are now free to decide what particular knowledge about a second particle. thus. to give answers to different questions that exclude each other . the EPR-Bohm pair of spin-1/2 particles known to be in a state of total spin momentum zero. as observers we have a qualifying but not a quantifying influence on the quantum phenomenon. The observer has however the free choice. corresponding to two mutually exclusive experimental arrangements. of determining what particular knowledge is gained and what other knowledge is lost (complementary pairs of opposites). through his experimental questioning.. Therefore every irrevocable interference by an observation about a system alters its state. a very subtle position was assumed by Pauli [1955] who writes: ”The gain of knowledge by means of an observation has as a necessary and natural consequence. for example. we decide along which direction the spin of a particle may manifest itself. so to speak. I suggest that the fact is very important that while. They scatter and separate. In this I see a necessary consequence of the first. in such a way that it ensures that the observer does not have total control over the phenomena in Nature. the impossibility of a quantifying influence. but simultaneously what complementary knowledge will be lost after the measurement is performed.but for the price of not being able to exert a quantifying influence. by choosing which measurement device to use we not only decide what particular knowledge will be gained. The observer can. for example. we have no influence on the value of the quantity. by choosing the apparatus. depending on which arrangement is chosen.7 Change of Information in Measurement .

The seeming paradox arises by asking how a measurement on particle 1 can change the state of particle 2 (which might be very far away from the first) from one in which the spin is indefinite to one in which the spin is definite. This can only be paradox. . a description of the state is a description of the information possessed by an observer. If in a measurement of the spin projection of particle 1 one obtains the value ”up”.112 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory along the same direction. for example. if the change of the state is regarded as a real process which can occur suddenly. however. Still. the observer cannot influence which specific result will be observed through the measurement. This excludes any possibility of instantaneous transmission of information from one side of the measurement to another. A measurement of the spin projection of particle 1 gives instantaneously complete information about the spin projection onto the same direction of particle 2 because of the special way the spins are correlated (”entangled”) in this experiment. the outcomes will with certainty be found to be opposite. by the result of instantaneous interaction with another system. however. then the laws of quantum mechanics assert that the state of particle 2 immediately changes to one in which the spin projection onto the same direction is definite by ”down”. In the view presented here.

B. specifying the transformation matrix.45) (B.47) Thus.1 Continuity of Information Implies Analyticity of Information From Eq. 2.46) φi (x)dx = φi (0) = 1 (B.13 it follows that functions f (x) and g(x).48) Multiplying this equation with φi (y ). . It is easy to see that each of them satisfies the functional equation φi (x + y ) = φi (x)φi (y ) i = 1. we introduce two linearly independent functions φ1 (x) = f (x) + ig(x) and φ2 (x) = f (x) − ig(x). (B. if they are continuous functions. then they also have derivatives of any order. there is a value s such that s Int(s) := 0 φi (x)dx = 0. 3. In order to prove it.1 Continuity of Information Implies Analyticity of Information 113 B. In other words. Since each φi (x) is continuous and φi (0) = f (0) = 1. we find s φi (y )Int(s) = s 0 φi (x)φi (y )dx y +s y = 0 φi (x + y )dx = φi (x)dx. satisfy equations f (x + y ) = f (x)f (y ) − g(x)g(y ) and g(x + y ) = f (x)g(y ) − f (y )g(x). then 1 t→0 t lim t 0 (B.44) (B.43) We will show that the continuity of these functions is a sufficient condition for their analyticity. (B.

g(x) = (φ1 (x) − φ2 (x)). This implies that φi (y ) is differentiable. 2 2i (B. Obviously. Now. Since Int(s) = 0. (B.114 Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory where we use Eq. every continuous function that satisfies equation (B.52) .50) is its first derivative. φi has the second derivative φi (y ) = 1 (φ (y + s) − φi (y )).49) shows that each φi is a differentiable function and φi (y ) = 1 (φi (y + s) − φi (y )) Int(s) (B. (B.51) This further implies the existence of the third derivative of φi etc.46). Int(s) i (B. because φi is a differentiable function. Thus.50) is also differentiable. then 1 Int(s) y +s y φi (y ) = φi (x)dx (B.46) is analytical. this is also valid for functions 1 1 f (x) = (φ1 (x) + φ2 (x)). the right-hand side of Eq. that is.

β. we can represent the three mutually complementary propositions associated to the spin-1/2 measurements along these directions in terms of Eulers angles as P1 (α. A list of mutually complementary propositions associated to the spin measurements along directions obtained by the first rotation can be represented as P1 (0.2 A General Transformation in the Space of Information If we define the orientations of the three mutually orthogonal directions n1 (α. γ ) and n3 (α. γ ): ”The spin along the direction n1 (α. The latter always constitute an orthogonal coordinate system. Given a specific set of three orthogonal directions. γ ): ”The spin along the direction n2 (α. β. applying a similar argumentation as in Sec. β. 0 ≤ γ < 2π . β. P2 (0. γ ). γ ). γ ) is up”. β.54) In the last step we fix both the angle γo of the first rotation and the angle 10 One should always keep in mind the difference between directions along which mutually complementary measurements are performed in ordinary space (such as the vertical direction and the direction at +45◦ along which a photon’s polarization is measured. β. β.B.” P2 (α. γ ). 0. β. The general rotation for Euler’s angles α. If we fix the angle of the first rotation at γo and consider only propositions P1 (0.53) for the transformation matrix in the space of information10 . n2 (α. γo ). β.3 one obtains cos γ − sin γ 0   ˆ R(γ ) =  sin γ cos γ 0  0 0 1   (B. 0 ≤ β ≤ π . 3. γo ) about spins along directions obtained by the second rotation around the y-axis for an angle 0 ≤ β ≤ π . . β. all other sets of orthogonal directions can be obtained by rotating the reference set. the first around the z-axes by 0 ≤ γ < 2π . γ ) in ordinary space by the Eulers angles 0 ≤ α < 2π . γ can be performed as a sequence of three rotations. γ ) is up” and P3 (α. γ ). β.2 A General Transformation in the Space of Information 115 B. β. γ ) is up. the corresponding transformation matrix reads cos β 0 sin β  ˆ (β ) =  R 0 1 0 . P2 (0. β. the second around the y-axes by 0 ≤ β ≤ π and the third again around the z-axes by 0 ≤ α < 2π . or orthogonal directions along which the particle’s spin component are measured) and directions associated with mutually complementary propositions (components of an information vector) in the space of information. γ ): ”The spin along the direction n3 (α. P3 (0. Now. 0. γo ) and P3 (0.  − sin β 0 cos β   (B. 0.

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Chapter 3: Information and the Structure of Quantum Theory

βo of the second rotation, and consider only sets of mutually complementary propositions P1 (α, βo , γo ), P2 (α, βo , γo ) and P3 (α, βo , γo ) about spins along directions obtained by the third rotation around the z-axis for 0 ≤ α < 2π . The corresponding transformation matrix is again of the form (B.53) with the angle α. Finally, the transformation matrix for a general rotation in the space of information is given as ˆα)R( ˆβ )R( ˆγ ) ˆ (α, β, γ ) = R( R
    =   

cos α cos β cos γ − sin α sin γ sin α cos β cos γ + cos α sin γ − sin β cos γ

− cos α cos β sin γ cos α sin β + sin α cos γ − sin α cos β sin γ sin α sin β + cos α cos γ sin β sin γ cos γ

    .   

(B.55)

We note that the transformation matrix may also be defined in terms of some general physical parameters u = (u1 , u2 , u3 ) and φ
3 jkl ul , l=1

Rjk = cos φδjk + (1 − cos φ)uj uk − sin φ

(B.56)

where jkl is total antisymmetric tensor. This then describes a rotation around the unity direction (u1 , u2 , u3 ) by an angle φ in the space of information.

Conclusions
The laws we discover about Nature do not already exist as ”Laws of Nature” in the outside world. Rather ”Laws of Nature” are necessities of the mind for any possibility to make sense whatsoever out of the data of experience. This epistemological structure is a necessity behind the form of all laws an observer can discover. As von Weizs¨ acker has put it, and Heisenberg quoted in [1958]: ”Nature is earlier than man, but man is earlier than natural science.” An observer is inescapably suspended in the situation of collecting the data of observation, formatting concepts of Nature therefrom, and predicting future data. In observing, she/he is able to distinguish only two results at each interval of time. Therefore the experience of the ultimate experimenter is a stream of ”yes” or ”no” answers to the questions posed to Nature. Every concept of Nature in the last analysis can be based on binary questions. Even the concept of the ”system” itself is an useful construct we introduce as possessing a property of giving a definite answer to the yes-no questions that are posed through observations. We may further introduce the most elementary system as a system which gives a definite answer to one single binary question only. Answers of an elementary system to other different questions must then necessarily contain an element of randomness. A precise answer to one specific question excludes therefore any possibility for an elementary system to provide a definite answer to complementary questions. Without any additional physical structure assumed we thus let the fundamental features of quantum mechanics, namely the irreducible randomness of an individual event and complementarity, be a consequence of a very natural principle that an elementary system gives a definite answer to a single experimental question only. The principle of quantization of information that an elementary system gives the definite answer (yes or no) to one binary question only, implies that it is pointless to look for a cause of the individual event. This is confirmed through theorems like those of Bell [Bell, 1964] and Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger [Greenberger et al., 1989, 1990], which state that randomness of an individual quantum event can not be derived from the introduced local causes (local hidden

117

118

Conclusions

variables). Quantum mechanics is not able to ”explain why (specific) events happen” as pointed out by Bell [1990]. Any more detailed description of the reality that would be able to give an unambiguous answer to Bell’s question, that is, any description that would be able to arrive at an accurate and detailed prediction of the particular process resulting in a particular event, will necessarily include the definition of a number of ”hidden” properties of the system which would carry information as to which specific result will be observed for all possible future measurements. To Bell’s question why specific events happen, no answer can therefore be given, because if we could give an answer it would mean that a quantum system carries enough information to provide definite answers to all questions that could be asked experimentally which is forbidden by the principle of quantization of information. Any concept of an existing reality is a mental construction based on observations. Yet this does not imply that reality is no more than a pure subjective human construct. From our observations we are able to build up objects with a set of properties that do not change under variations of modes of observation and description. These are ”invariants” with respect to these variations. Predictions based on any such specific invariant objects may then be checked by anyone, and the validity of the concepts constructed should not be restricted to phenomena taking place in some well-defined experimental context. As a result we may arrive at an intersubjective agreement about the model, thus lending a sense of independent reality to the mentally constructed objects. In quantum experiments an observer may decide to measure a different set of complementary variables, thus gaining certainty about one or more variable at the expense of losing certainty about the other(s). The total uncertainty, or equivalently, the total information carried by the system, is invariant under such transformation from one complete set of complementary variables to another. While in a classical world view a property of a system is a primary concept prior to and independent of observation and information is a secondary concept which measures our ignorance about properties of the system, in the view of quantum mechanics the notion of the total information of the system emerges as a primary concept, independent of the particular complete set of complementary experimental procedures the observer might choose. A property of the system becomes a secondary concept, a specific representation of the information of the system that is created spontaneously in the measurement itself11 .
It was clearly stated in the papers of Bohr and Heisenberg that information may serve as a guiding concept in a search for deeper understanding of reality. We quote Bohr as writing [1934]: ” ... a subsequent measurement to a certain degree deprives the information given by a previous measurement of its significance for predicting the future course of phenomena. Obviously, these facts not only set a limit to the extent of the information obtainable by measurement, but they also set a limit to the meaning which we may attribute to such information. We meet here in a new light the old truth that in our description of nature
11

which is a directly observable quantity. If the origin of the structure of quantum mechanics is to be sought in a theory of observations. relations between the manifold aspects of our experience. then we would do well to focus our attention not on amplitudes. quantum phenomena do not occur in a Hilbert space. i. At this point the dimensionality of our space appears to be directly related to the lowest possible number of mutually exclusive questions we may pose to an elementary system.. We define the total information content of a system as an invariant found in different sets of mutually complementary observations. This seems to justify the use of three-dimensional space as ”the” space of the inferred world. mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of elementary particles but rather our knowledge of this behavior. Assumption of an invariance of the total information content of the system under the choice of a particular set of mutually complementary observations (the total knowledge of the system is invariant under a change of representation of the catalog of our knowledge about the system) together with the assumption of the homogeneity of the laboratory parametric axis then necessarily leads to the sinusoidal relation between probabilities and labaratory parameters in quantum mechanics. of observers.” . The Hilbert-space the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down..e.. It turns out that the lowest symmetry common for all elementary systems is the invariance of their information content with respect to a rotation in a threedimensional space. so far as it possible. The origin of these rules does not seem to be clear. information..Conclusions 119 Quantum theory supplies a set of rules how physical conditions of an experimental arrangement determine the probabilities for different possible results of the experiment. evaporated into the . After all. From what deeper foundation emerges the familiar sinusoidal relation between the probabilities and the laboratory parameters? In this work we suggested to define the total information content of a quantum system as a summation of individual measures of information over a complete set of mutually complementary observations. In the present work we obtained all of the essential features of quantum mechanics in terms of knowledge. of the system. but on quantities which are more directly observable. They occur in a laboratory. Why is the mathematical representation of the knowledge of the system in quantum theory characterized by complex quantities which are very remote from our knowledge? We gain some insight into this if we consider what quantum mechanics looks like when it is not expressed in terms of complex probability amplitudes. and of meaning. . But such is necessary if we want to be able to understand how we can know what physical conditions we prepared in an experiment from which in turn we can calculate the probabilities for different results... without any input from quantum theory.” and Heisenberg [1958]: ”The laws of nature which we formulate mathematically in quantum theory deal no longer with the particles themselves but with our knowledge of the elementary particles. The conception of objective reality .

every field or force. permitting the unambiguous definition of complementary physical quantities. its meaning.” This is a consequence of the fact that the group of rotation SO(3) in three-dimensional real space is isomorph to the group of rotation U (2) in a two-dimensional complex (Hilbert) space. It is just this entirely new situation at regards the description of physical phenomena.” 12 . which provides room for new physical laws. 13 Bohr [1935] writes in his famous answer to Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen [1935] paper: ”In fact it is only the mutual exclusion of any two experimental procedures. The complexity of the probability amplitudes is again a necessity of the fact that the lowest number of mutually complementary observations is three. Otherwise put. binary choices. the coexistence of which might at first sight appear irreconcilable with the basic principles of science. where the state of a particle may always be represented by real probability amplitudes if we restrict our consideration to two-dimensions. We hope we have made here a further step in fulfilling Wheeler’s [1989] program: ”It from bit. its very existence entirely – even if in some contexts indirectly – from the apparatus – elicited answers to yes or no questions. even the spacetime continuum itself – derives its function. This may easily be seen in the theory of a spin-1/2 particle.120 Conclusions structure is implicitly contained in and can easily be revealed from the structure specified by the space of information12 . bits. In search of a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics we are at the beginning. every it – every particle. not at the end13 . that the notion of complementary aims at characterizing.

121 ˇ Brukner and Anton Zeilinger C. Lett. (in press) .Preprint from Phys. Lett. Rev. ”Operationally Invariant Quantum Information” Phys. Rev.

Consider a stationary experimental arrangement with n possible outcomes. We define a new measure of information for an individual quantum measurement based on the fact that the only feature defined before the measurement is performed are the specific probabilities for all possible individual outcomes. if we just plan to perform the experiment N times. Every reasonably well-designed experiment tests some proposition.. pn ) for the outcomes all an experimenter can predict is how many times on average a specific outcome will occur.122 Preprint from Phys. That operational quantum information invariant results in k bits of information for a system consisting of k qubits. we know in advance.65. A–1090 Wien. the total information carried by the system is invariant under such transformation from one complete set of complementary variables to another one. This quantum complementarity of variables occurs when the corresponding operators do not commute. pj N +σj ).. 03. For a composite system. the number nj of occurrences of a specific outcome j . In making his prediction he has only a limited number of systems to work with. Intuitively one expects that the total uncertainty or. (1) This implies that for a sufficiently large number N of experimental trials the confidence interval is given as (pj N −σj . The sum of the individual measures of information for mutually complementary observations is invariant under the choice of the particular set of complementary observations and conserved if there is no information exchange with an environment. with no indi- vidual qubit carrying any information on its own. Knowledge of the state of a quantum system permits the prediction of individual outcomes with certainty only for that limited class of experiments which have definite outcomes. equivalently. Rather. One quantity. Operationally Invariant Quantum Information ˇ Caslav Brukner and Anton Zeilinger Institut f¨ ur Experimentalphysik. pj . the only feature known before an experiment is performed are the probabilities for various events to occur.. The observer is free to choose different experiments which might even completely exclude each other.-w.65. Boltzmanngasse 5. that the number nj of future occurrences of the outcome j will be found with probability 68% within the confidence interval. not even in principle. for example in a spin-1/2 measurement the individual outcomes ”spin up” and ”spin down”. From theorems like Kochen-Specker [1] we know that in quantum mechanics it is not possible. Lett. About indefinite propositions we can only make probabilistic predictions. . in the value nj is [2] 2 σj = pj (1 − pj )N. Then. a situation where the corresponding propositions have definite truth values. for example measurements of orthogonal components of spin. Austria (Received 24 March 1999) A new measure of information in quantum mechanics is proposed which takes into account that for quantum systems. PACS number(s): 03. Also it is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with an environment.. 03. We find that the total information of a system results in k bits of information for a system consisting of k qubits. Rev. . Notice that the experimenter’s lack of information (1) is proportional to the number of trials. maximal entanglement results if the total information carried by the system is exhausted in specifying joint properties. The experimentalist may decide to measure a different set of complementary variables thus gaining certainty about one or more variables at the expense of loosing certainty about other(s). Our results we interpret as implying that information is the most fundamental notion in quantum mechanics.. before the experiments are performed and their outcomes become known. the experimenter’s uncertainty (mean-square-deviation). This important property guarantees that each individual performance 1 . Therefore. for example the z-component of spin. for example where the uncertainty in one component is reduced but the one in another component is increased correspondingly. or lack of information. We show that the total information defined according to our new measure has exactly that invariance property.67. In the case of spin this could be the projections along rotated directions. Universit¨ at Wien. We define the total information content in a quantum system to be the sum over all individual measures for a complete set of mutually complementary experiments. might be well defined at the expense of maximal uncertainty about the other orthogonal components.-a In any individual quantum measurement with discrete variables a number of different outcomes are possible. to assign definite noncontextual truth values to all conceivable propositions.. because of the statistical fluctuations associated with any finite number of experimental trials. in future N repetitions of the experiment is not precisely predictable. Knowing the probabilities p = (p1 .Bz.

Into the each of two paths of the interferometer in Fig. no matter how many times the experiment has already been performed. phenomena under different experimental conditions.. the minimum length of p is given when all pi are equal (pi = 1/n). Principle sketch of arrangements to consider mutually exclusive classes of information in an interference experiment with a Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer. We emphasize that our measure of information is not equal to Shannon’s information. because of i pi = 1. 1b one detector is inserted with a property to detect the particle without absorbing it.” In contrast. We recall Bohr’s [5] remark that ”. if we know which path the particle took through the interferometer (Fig. ”The spin along the y -axis is up” and ”The spin along the z -axis is up”. Suppose that in the presence of a specific phase shift φ between two beams inside the interferometer (Fig.e. Expressions of such a general type were studied in detail by Hardy. In this case we have complete knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter at the expense of the fact that we have absolutely no knowledge which path the particle took inside the interferometer. I (p) = N i=1 pi − 1 n 2 . Lett. This corresponds to the situation of complete lack of information in an experiment. The state of the particle can now be specified by the truth value of the proposition: . Notice that this expression can also be viewed as describing the length of the probability vector p. Indeed. n = 2k .. Such a complete set of propositions for a spin-1/2 particle can be for example: ”The spin along the x-axis is up”. The state of the particle is then represented by the truth value (true or false) of the proposition: (1) ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in presence of the phase shift φ. Then I (p) results in k bits of information if one pi = 1 and it results in 0 bits of information when all pi are equal. Littlewood and P´ olya [3]. (3) A set of propositions associated to certain quantummechanical experiments is mutually complementary if complete knowledge of the truth value of any one of the propositions implies maximal uncertainty about the truth values of the others. Obviously. the particle will exit with certainty towards the upper (lower) detector behind the beam splitter. Therefore we suggest to normalize the measure of information in an individual quantum measurement as obtaining finally n FIG. 1. furthermore. not all vectors in probability space are possible. in general. 1b) no interference results and hence it is completely uncertain which outgoing path the particle will take. our measure of information takes into account that. (5) This is the lack of information about the outcome j with respect to a single future experimental trial.Preprint from Phys. This suggests that the knowledge. In this view we suggest to define the total lack of information regarding all n possible experimental outcomes as n n n U (p) = j U (pj ) = j pj (1 − pj ) = 1 − j p2 j. After each trial the experimenter’s lack of information about the outcome j therefore decreases by 2 σj U (pj ) = = pj (1 − pj ). with respect to a single future experimental trial an experimentalist possesses before the experiment is performed is somehow the complement of U (p) and. a quantum measurement does not reveal a pre-existing property. 123 of the experiment contributes the same amount of information. Rev. the normalization is N = 2k k/(2k − 1). that it is a function of a sum of the squares of probabilities. 1). (4) Considering from now on those cases where maximally k bits of information can be encoded. 4) over a complete set of m of mutually complementary observables m Itotal = (2) j =1 Ij (p). i. 1a). must be termed complementary in the sense that each is well defined and that together We now analyze the mutually complementarity propositions in an interference experiment with an idealized Mach-Zehnder type of interferometer (Fig. A first ansatz therefore would be I (p) = 1 − U (p) = n 2 i=1 pi . Having defined the information content in an individual quantum measurement we now ask what the total information content in a quantum system is. N they exhaust all definable knowledge about the object concerned” and suggest to sum the individual measures of information (Eq. While Shannon’s information is applicable when measurement reveals a preexisting property [4]. The uncertainty is minimal if one probability is equal to one and it is maximal if all probabilities are equal. or information.

the direction φ is assumed to be by lying in the x-y plane oriented at an angle φ with respect to the xaxis. p+ 1 is the probability to find the particle in the state ρ ˆ with spin up along φ. 1c both outgoing beams will be equally probable. this results in just 1 bit of information for a pure state when 1 single proposition with definite truth value is assigned to the system and in 0 bits of information for a completely mixed state when no proposition with definite truth value can be made about the system. the particle will exit with certainty towards the upper (lower) detector. Evidently. Lett. Our results indicate that we have to take into account not just these two variables. Then the rigorous equality Eq. p3 ) = 2T rρ (6) Here. this analogy can even be carried further using the concept of multiports. Wootters and Zurek [6] found for a double-slit experiment that we can obtain some partial knowledge about the particle’s path and still observe an interference pattern of reduced contrast as compared to the ideal interference situation. In the same spirit as choosing a coordinate system one may choose any set of mutually complementary propositions to represent our knowledge of the system. 1a. it can easily be shown that even without path information our knowledge of the beam the particle will be found in behind the beam splitter in Fig. that is. i. Then. In a set of mutually exclusive two-particle interference experiments the angles φ1 and φ2 would correspond to phase shifts in two Mach-Zehnder interferometers fed by two particles. Indeed.” Knowing that spin-1/2 affords a model of the quantum mechanics of all two-state systems. (2) ”The particle takes the upper path inside the interferometer. We find for the total information carried by the com- . Evidently. Now. suppose that in the presence of a specific phase shift φ + π/2 (Fig. but three. We will consider a set of mutually complementary pairs of propositions where precise knowledge of the truth values of a specific pair of propositions excludes any knowledge of the truth values of other complementary pairs of propositions. Also note that the total information content of the system is conserved in time if there is no information exchange with the environment. Rev. and (3) ”The spin is up along φ + π/2 in the x-y plane”. An explicit example will again be two spin1/2 particles. if the system is dynamically independent from the environment and not exposed to a measurement. (3) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along φ1 + π/2” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along φ2 + π/2. 1b) nor about the outgoing path in the arrangement in Fig.” (5) ”The spin of particle 1 along z and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + π/2 are the same” and ”The spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along z are the same. 1 . (2) ”The spin is up along the z-axis”. We realize that the total information content of the system is − + − + − Itotal = I1 (p+ ˆ2 − 1. Therefore from now on we will explicitly discuss spin measurements only keeping in mind the applicability of these ideas for interference experiments. Here. (6) results.” (2) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along φ1 ” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along φ2 ”.e. e.” (4) ”The spin of particle 1 along z and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 are the same” and ”The spin of particle 1 along φ1 and the spin of particle 2 along φ2 + π/2 are the same. this is invariant under unitary transformations. let us consider two qubits. For a particle in that state we have complete knowledge of the outgoing beam the particle will take (Fig. The total information about the system will then be invariant under that choice.g. The state of the system is now represented by the truth value of the proposition (3) ”The particle takes the outgoing path towards the upper detector in presence of the phase shift φ + π/2”. p1 )+ I2 (p2 . This is the reason we may use the phrase ”the total information content” without explicitly specifying the particular reference set of mutually complementary propositions. 1a will be completely removed if we introduce an additional phase shift of π/2 between the two beams inside the interferometer. We give one possible choice of a complete set of pairs of complementary propositions for two particles: (1) ”The spin of particle 1 is up along z” and ”The spin of particle 2 is up along z.124 Preprint from Phys.” Again directions φ1 and φ2 are assumed both to be by lying in the x-y plane oriented at an angle φ1 and φ2 respectively with respect to the x-axis. As opposed to the singleparticle case where 3 individual propositions are complementary to each other. Englert [7] has proposed an inequality to describe quantitatively the complementarity between path information and interference pattern in a MachZehnder type of interferometer. The 3 propositions we found for the interferometer are formally equivalent to the complementary propositions about spin-1/2: (1)”The spin is up along φ in the x-y plane”. Note that the total information content of a quantum system is completely specified by the state of the system alone and independent of the physical parameter φ (phase shift) that labels various sets of mutually complementary observations. we expect that there are always three mutually complementary propositions whenever binary alternatives are considered. 1c) at the expense of absolutely no knowledge neither about the path inside the interferometer (Fig. In order to analyze the most simple composite system in view of the ideas just proposed above. Notice that we can label various sets of the 3 mutually complementary propositions by the value φ of the phase shift. qubits. in the new arrangement in Fig. 1c). p2 )+ I3 (p3 . in the two-particle case we have 5 pairs of propositions where each pair is complementary to each other pair [8].. Also.

as the two-bit combination false-true of the truth values of the propositions given in (1). Bohr: Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (Wiley. D 19. V. P. New York. one bit in each particle just like in classical physics. Otherwise the system would carry more information than necessary to specify one definite proposition. |y − represent the eigenbases of spin rotated by φ1 and φ2 respectively. Zurek. 473 (1979). P´ olya. For example.. maximal entanglement arises when the total information of a composite system is exhausted in specifying joint properties. Cambridge. Moscow. Lett.Preprint from Phys. 2 (8) For clarity we emphasize that our total information content of a quantum system is neither mathematically nor conceptually equivalent to von Neumann’s entropy. . This is then represented by the product state |ψ prod = |z − 1 |z + 2 . but at its end. Again. 1952). false-true and false-false) of the truth values for the pair of propositions j . Alternatively. Inequalities (Cambridge University Press. p4 ) are the probabilities for the system in the state ρ ˆ to give the four possible combinations (true-true. this is represented by the entangled state |ψ ent 1 = √ (i|z + 1 |x+ 2 + |z − 1 |x− 2 ) 2 1 = √ (|x+ 1 |y − 2 − i|x− 1 |y + 2 ). With the only exception for results of measurement in a basis decomposing the density matrix into a classical mixture when it can be considered as equivalent to Shannon’s information [4]. This again is invariant under unitary transformations. Entanglement results from the fact that information could also be distributed in joint properties of a multiparticle system. 59 (1967). In fact. That information contained in 2 propositions can be distributed over the 2 particles in various ways. J. the Shannon Information in Quantum Measurement (in preparation). Phys. 125 posite system 5 Itotal = j =1 Ij (pj ) = 2 (4T rρ ˆ2 − 1). A composite 2-qubits system in a pure state carries 2 bits of information. Kochen and E. Zeilinger. [5] N. Wootters and W. Rev. it cannot be reduced to ”hidden” properties of the system... our information content is purely operational and it refers directly to experimental results of mutually complementary measurements thus including also those for which the density matrix cannot be decomposed into a classical mixture. This kind of randomness must then be irreducible. This work have been supported by Austrian Science Foundation FWF. this could be the two-bit combination truefalse of the truth values of the propositions given in (4). In the present paper we find an operational quantum information invariant that reflects the intrinsic symmetry of the underlying Hilbert space of the system. Gnedenko. In that case there is no additional information represented jointly by the 2 systems. J. 1958). Since this is the only information a quantum system carries. Rev. in the extreme with no individual particle carrying any information on its own. Project No.11] that the most elementary system represents the truth value of one proposition only. 2 bits of information might all be carried by the 2 particles in a joint way. pj = (pj 1 . We interpret our result as implying that number of essential features of quantum mechanics. Math. and no further possibility exists to also encode information in individuals. H. then . each by itself known maximally. The Theory of Probability (Mir Publishers. it is not again split into a logical sum of knowledges about the individual bodies.g. This Bell state does not contain any information about the individuals. all information is contained in joint properties. a measurement associated with any other proposition must necessarily contain an element of irreducible randomness. 1976). Specker. It may be carried by the 2 particles individually. [6] W. |x− and |y + . This we see as a quantitative formulation of Schr¨ odinger’s [9] idea that ” If two separated bodies. p2 . ˇ Brukner and A. Our information content of the system can be viewed as equivalent to the sum of partial knowledges an experimentalist can have about mutually exclusive measurements without any further reference to the structure of the theory. true-false. now there cannot be any information carried by the individuals because the two bits of information are exhausted by defining that maximally entangled state. 17. where |x+ . Independence on physical parameters φ1 and φ2 implies that the total information of the composite system is invariant under the choice of the particular set of mutually complementary pairs of propositions. enter a situation in which they influence each other. and separate again. the knowledge remains maximal.” [1] S. In contrary. E. S6503. K. Also the total information of the composite system is conserved in time if there is no information exchange between the composite system and an environment. We note that these results can be generalized to a composite system consisting of k qubits. the von Neumann entropy is just a measure of the purity of the given density matrix without explicit reference to information contained in individual measurements. The 2 bits of information are thus encoded in the two particles separately. p3 . and Mech. [3] G. 3 (7) j j j Here. e. Hardy. Littlewood and G. that is. [2] B. Conceptual Inadequancy of [4] C. if the two bodies have again separated. might be based on the observation [10. In particular.

Ann. 89. (1999). Naturwissenschaften 23. of Phys. ˇ Brukner and A. Englert. 29. Phys. 363 (1989). Lett. Schr¨ odinger. Phys.emr. Wootters and B.hibu. 191. K. Slov. Zeilinger. Lett. . 647 [11] C. See W. Fields. [8] For n = 2k there are 2k + 1 mutually complementary observables. 631 (1999). Rev.no/lars/eng/cat [10] A. D. Phys. Rev. G. 807 (1935). [7] B. See also: www. [9] E. Zeilinger.126 Preprint from Phys. Found. Act. 2154 (1996). 77.

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my first physics teacher (for initiating my love to physics). both in the scientific and the secular. but not less great because of that. my professor of quantum mechanics in Belgrad (for teaching me that the first step in understanding quantum mechanics is in realizing the size of its nonunderstability. I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Austrian Fond zur F¨ orderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Projects No. family Radak. Milan Vujiˇ ci´ c for supporting my decision that finally brought me to continue my studies of physics in Vienna). I would like to thank to Prof. Prof. Anton Zeilinger. Anton Zeilinger. and together with Prof. In a perceived declining interest for foundational questions of quantum mechanics I am grateful for having the opportunity to write this thesis under the guidance of Prof.Acknowledgments No one deserves more thanks for the success of this work than my advisor Prof. 133 . and his deep physical insight that often brings enlightenment even where any calculation failed. Fedor Herbut. S6502 and F1506) during the research of the thesis. Johann Summhammer. brother Ivan. Much of the viewpoints espoused here were worked out in conversation with him. His influence on this dissertation was from a distance. Baˇ si´ c. Christine G¨ otschObmascher (for her continuous help on various matters throughout the years). Olaf Nairz (for corecting the german in Zusammenfassung). se˜ nor Matthew Daniell – Malus (for correcting the english in the thesis). Tetka and Vlada (for supporting me during my studies). Not only his openness for unusual views of interpreting and understanding quantum phenomena. my mother Olga. I wish to thank the following: Christoph Simon (for fruitfully discussions about physics and life and critically listening of many of the ideas presented here). but also his stability support and encouragement throughout years of our acquaintance and his confidence that students could carry out a significant contribution to their chosen area of physics were and are very crucial in forming my own way of thought. Prof.

.134 Finally. and daughter Isidora and son Sergej whose joint existence coming in the middle of writing of the thesis gave me additional purpose and strength to see this dissertation through. I thank my wife Zorica for supporting me and turning my downs into ups throughout the years.

Prof. Anton Zeilinger Heirat mit Zorica Mitrovi´ c Doktorstudium der Technischen Physik an der Technischen Universit¨ at Wien bei Univ.1967 1974–1982 1982–1986 1986–1987 1987–1991 1992–1995 1993 13.Lebenslauf 09.07.08.Fachrichtung Nuklearphysik in Belgrad/Jugoslawien Milit¨ ardienst Studium der Physik an der Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakult¨ at der Universit¨ at Belgrad/Jugoslawien Fortsetzung des Studiums der Physik an der Formal– und Natur¨ wissenschaftlichen Fakult¨ at der Universit¨ at Wien/Osterreich T¨ atigkeit im Rahmen des Projekts: ”Literature Search in Process Simulation” bei der Digital Equipment Corporation Wien Sponsion zum Magister der Naturwissenschaften. Dr. Anton Zeilinger Geburt von Tochter Isidora und Sohn Sergej 12. Diplomarbeit: ”Beugung von Materiewellen im Raum und in der Zeit” durchgef¨ uhrt bei Univ.1999 135 .01.07.1995 Geboren in Novi Sad/Jugoslawien als zweiter Sohn von Olga und Bogdan Brukner Besuch der Grundschule in Novi Sad Ausbildung am Mathematischen Gymnasium . Prof. Dr.1995 seit 1995 30.

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