nLab extremal quantum channel

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Extremal quantum channels

The set of all quantum channels on d\mathcal{M}_{d} is convex and compact meaning it may be decomposed as

T= ip iT i T=\sum_{i}p_{i}T_{i}

where the pp‘s are probabilities and the T iT_{i}’s are extremalextremal unital channels, that is channels that may not be further decomposed.

Channels with a single Kraus operator are pure channels and the extremal points in the convex set of channels are precisely the pure channels. Here TT represents the set of allall channels on the particular space, not necessarily copies of the same one, i.e. the T iT_{i} may not represent the same channel.

General extremality

TT, with Kraus operators {A} i\{A\}_i, is extremal if and only if the set

{A k A l} k,lN \left \{A_{k}^{\dagger}A_{l} \right \}_{k,l\ldots N}

is linearly independent.

Unital extremality

In the case where TT is unital, it is extremal if and only if the set

{A k A lA lA k } k,lN \left \{A_{k}^{\dagger}A_{l} \oplus A_{l}A_{k}^{\dagger} \right \}_{k,l \ldots N}

is linearly independent.


Ian Durham: One major conundrum is to determine whether extremality is preserved over tensor products, i.e. given an extremal quantum channel, if you take nn copies of it (which amounts to tensoring it nn times with itself), as a whole are these nn copies still extremal? It would be nice to see if category theory can shed some light on this problem since it is at the root of a particularly gnarly problem in quantum information theory..


Christian B. Mendl and Michael M. Wolf, Unital Quantum Channels - Convex Structure and Revivals of Birkhoff’s Theorem (pdf).

L. J. Landau and R. F. Streater, On Birkhoff ‘s theorem for doubly stochastic completely positive maps of matrix algebras, Lin. Alg. Appl., 193:107–127, 1993.

Last revised on March 28, 2010 at 02:23:10. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.