Quantum state discrimination

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There are fundamental limits to the accuracy with which one can determine the state of a quantum system. I give an overview of the main approaches to quantum state discrimination. Several strategies exist. In quantum hypothesis testing, a quantum system is prepared in a member of a known, finite set of states, and the aim is to guess which one with the minimum probability of error. Error free discrimination is also sometimes possible, if we allow for the possibility of obtaining inconclusive results. If no prior information about the state is provided, then it is impractical to try to determine it exactly, and it must be estimated instead. In addition to reviewing these various strategies, I describe connections between state discrimination, the manipulation of quantum entanglement and quantum cloning. Recent experimental work is also discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00107510010002599

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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