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Asymmetry of quantum states is a useful resource in applications such as quantum metrology, quantum communication, and reference frame alignment. However, asymmetry of a state tends to be degraded in physical scenarios where environment-induced noise is described by covariant operations, e.g., open systems constrained by superselection rules, and such degradations weaken the abilities of the state to implement quantum information processing tasks. In this paper, we investigate under which dynamical conditions asymmetry of a state is totally unaffected by the noise described by covariant operations. We find that all asymmetry measures are frozen for a state under a covariant operation if and only if the relative entropy of asymmetry is frozen for the state. Our finding reveals the existence of universal freezing of asymmetry, and provides a necessary and sufficient condition under which asymmetry is totally unaffected by the noise.
Steady-state manifolds of open quantum systems, such as decoherence-free subspaces and noiseless subsystems, are of great practical importance to the end of quantum information processing. Yet, it is a difficult problem to find steady-state manifolds of open quantum systems, especially of non-Markovian systems. In this paper, we propose an approach to find the steady-state manifolds, which is generally applicable to both Markovian and non-Markovian systems. Our approach is based on an arbitrarily given steady state, and by following the standard steps of the approach, the steady-state manifold on the support subspace of the given state can be obtained. Our work reduces the problem of finding a manifold of steady states to that of finding only one steady state, which is indeed an interesting progress towards completely solving the difficult problem. Besides, in deriving our approach, we introduce the notions of the modified noise algebra and its commutant, and prove two theorems on the structure of steady-state manifolds of general open systems, which themselves are interesting findings too.
We propose an alternative framework for quantifying coherence. The framework is based on a natural property of coherence, the additivity of coherence for subspace-independent states, which is described by an operation-independent equality rather than operation-dependent inequalities and therefore applicable to various physical contexts. Our framework is compatible with all the known results on coherence measures but much more flexible and convenient for applications, and by using it many open questions can be resolved.
We find that all measures of coherence are frozen for an initial state in a strictly incoherent channel if and only if the relative entropy of coherence is frozen for the state. Our finding reveals the existence of measure-independent freezing of coherence, and provides an entropy-based dynamical condition in which the coherence of an open quantum system is totally unaffected by noise.
The quantification of quantum coherence has attracted a growing attention, and based on various physical contexts, several coherence measures have been put forward. An interesting question is whether these coherence measures give the same ordering when they are used to quantify the coherence of quantum states. In this paper, we consider the two well-known coherence measures, the $l_1$ norm of coherence and the relative entropy of coherence, to show that there are the states for which the two measures give a different ordering. Our analysis can be extended to other coherence measures, and as an illustration of the extension we further consider the formation of coherence to show that the $l_1$ norm of coherence and the formation of coherence, as well as the relative entropy of coherence and the coherence of formation, do not give the same ordering too.
Xiao-Dong Yu, Yan-Qing Guo and D. M. Tong
A proof of the Kochen-Specker theorem can always be converted to a state-independent noncontextuality inequality
New J. Phys. 17, 093001 (2015), arXiv:1505.02603
Quantum contextuality is one of the fundamental notions in quantum mechanics. Proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem and noncontextuality inequalities are two means for revealing the contextuality phenomenon in quantum mechanics. It has been found that some proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem, such as those based on rays, can be converted to a state-independent noncontextuality inequality, but it remains open whether it is true in general, i.e., whether any proof of the Kochen-Specker theorem can always be converted to a noncontextuality inequality. In this paper, we address this issue. We prove that all kinds of proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem, based on rays or any other observables, can always be converted to state-independent noncontextuality inequalities. Besides, our constructive proof also provides a general approach for deriving a state-independent noncontextuality inequality from a proof of the Kochen-Specker theorem.
Adiabatic quantum computation, based on the adiabatic theorem, is a promising alternative to conventional quantum computation. The validity of an adiabatic algorithm depends on the existence of a nonzero energy gap between the ground and excited states. However, it is difficult to ascertain the exact value of the energy gap. In this paper, we put forward a theorem on the existence of nonzero energy gap for the Hamiltonians used in adiabatic quantum computation. It can help to effectively identify a large class of the Hamiltonians without energy-level crossing between the ground and excited states.
Two types of inequalities, Kochen-Specker inequalities and noncontextuality inequalities, are both used to demonstrate the incompatibility between the noncontextual hidden variable model and quantum mechanics. It has been thought that noncontextuality inequalities are much more potent than Kochen-Specker inequalities, since the latter are constrained by the Kochen-Specker rules, which are regarded as an extra constraint imposed on the noncontextual hidden variable model. However, we find that a noncontextuality inequality exists in a ray set if and only if a Kochen-Specker inequality exists in the same ray set. This provides an effect approach both for constructing noncontextuality inequalities in a Kochen-Specker set and for converting a Kochen-Specker inequality to a noncontextuality inequality in any ray set.