Foundations of Physics Letters

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 107–121 | Cite as

Complementarity Relations for Multi-Qubit Systems

  • Tracey E. Tessier
Original Article

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We derive two complementarity relations that constrain the individual and bipartite properties that may simultaneously exist in a multi-qubit system. The first expression, valid for an arbitrary pure state of n qubits, demonstrates that the degree to which single particle properties are possessed by an individual member of the system is limited by the bipartite entanglement that exists between that qubit and the remainder of the system. This result implies that the phenomenon of entanglement sharing is one specific consequence of complementarity. The second expression, which holds for an arbitrary state of two qubits, pure or mixed, quantifies a tradeoff between the amounts of entanglement, separable uncertainty, and single particle properties that are encoded in the quantum state. The separable uncertainty is a natural measure of our ignorance about the properties possessed by individual subsystems, and may be used to completely characterize the relationship between entanglement and mixedness in two-qubit systems. The two-qubit complementarity relation yields a useful geometric picture in which the root mean square values of local subsystem properties act like coordinates in the space of density matrices, and suggests possible insights into the problem of interpreting quantum mechanics.

Key words:

complementarity entanglement entanglement sharing Bayesian interpretation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque

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