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General measure for macroscopic quantum states beyond "dead and alive"

By Pavel Sekatski, Benjamin Yadin, Marc-Olivier Renou, Wolfgang Dür, Nicolas Gisin and Florian Fröwis

Abstract

We consider the characterization of quantum superposition states beyond the pattern "dead and alive". We propose a measure that is applicable to superpositions of multiple macroscopically distinct states, superpositions with different weights as well as mixed states. The measure is based on the mutual information to characterize the distinguishability between multiple superposition states. This allows us to overcome limitations of previous proposals, and to bridge the gap between general measures for macroscopic quantumness and measures for Schr\"odinger-cat type superpositions. We discuss a number of relevant examples, provide an alternative definition using basis-dependent quantum discord and reveal connections to other proposals in the literature. Finally, we also show the connection between the size of quantum states as quantified by our measure and their vulnerability to noise.Comment: 13 pages, 5 figure

Topics: Quantum Physics
Publisher: 'IOP Publishing'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1088/1367-2630/aa84de
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1704.02270

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