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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Nanooptik

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät | Institut für Physik | Nanooptik | Publications | Optimum unambiguous discrimination of two mixed states and application to a class of similar states

Ulrike Herzog (2007)

Optimum unambiguous discrimination of two mixed states and application to a class of similar states

Phys. Rev. A, 75(5):052309.

We study the measurement for the unambiguous discrimination of two mixed quantum states that are described by density operators ρ1 and ρ2 of rank d, the supports of which jointly span a 2d-dimensional Hilbert space. Based on two conditions for the optimum measurement operators and on a canonical representation for the density operators of the states, two equations are derived that allow the explicit construction of the optimum measurement, provided that the expression for the fidelity of the states has a specific simple form. For this case, the problem is mathematically equivalent to distinguishing pairs of pure states, even when the density operators are not diagonal in the canonical representation. The equations are applied to the optimum unambiguous discrimination of two mixed states that are similar states, given by ρ2=Uρ1U, and that belong to the class where the unitary operator U can be decomposed into multiple rotations in the d mutually orthogonal two-dimensional subspaces determined by the canonical representation.