physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics
theory (physics), model (physics)
experiment, measurement, computable physics
Axiomatizations
Tools
Structural phenomena
Types of quantum field thories
category with duals (list of them)
dualizable object (what they have)
ribbon category, a.k.a. tortile category
monoidal dagger-category?
under construction
Central aspects of quantum mechanics with finite-dimensional spaces of quantum states — such as tensor products of qbit states of relevance in quantum information theory and quantum computation — follow from the formal properties of the category FinHilb of finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces. These properties are axiomatized by saying that FinHilb is an example of a †-compact category.
Conversely, much of finite-dimensional quantum mechanics and quantum computation can be formulated in any †-compact category, and general reasoning about †-compact categories themselves yields results about quantum mechanics and quantum computation.
A transparent string diagram calculus in †-compact categories as exposed in (Coecke, Kindergarten quantum mechanics) provides an intuitive and powerful tool for reasoning in $\dagger$-compact categories.
Let $(C,\otimes,I, \dagger)$ be a †-compact category.
We list various concepts in quantum mechanics and their corresponding incarnation in terms of structures in $C$.
An observable in quantum mechanics formulated on a Hilbert space is modeled by a self-adjoint operator, and the classical measurement outcomes of this operator provide, at least under some assumptions, an orthogonal basis on the Hilbert space.
That, more abstractly, the notion of orthogonal basis of an object can be phrased intrinsically inside any suitable $\dagger$-compact category is the point made in (CoeckePavlovicVicary).
The underlying “algebra of quantum amplitudes” of the corresponding quantum mechanical system is the endomorphism monoid of the tensor unit
In (Vicary) it is shown that in $\dagger$-compact categories with all finite limits over certain “tree-like” diagrams compatible with the $\dagger$-structure, this $\mathbb{C}_C$ has the properties that
it is a field of characteristic 0 with involution $\dagger$;
the subfield $\mathbb{R}_C$ fixed under $\dagger$ is orderable.
If furthermore every bounded sequence of measurements in $C$ with values in $\mathbb{R}_C$ has a least upper bound, then it follows that this field coincides with the complex numbers
and moreover
The behaviour of quantum channels and completely positive maps has an elegant categorical description in terms of $\dagger$-compact categories. See (Selinger and Coecke).
Symmetric monoidal categories such as †-compact categories have as internal logic a fragment of linear logic and as type theory a flavor of linear type theory. In this fashion everything that can be formally said about quantum mechanics in terms of †-compact categories has an equivalent expression in formal logic/type theory. It has been argued (Abramsky-Duncan 05, Duncan 06) that this linear logic/linear type theory of quantum mechanics is the correct formalization of “quantum logic”. An exposition of this point of view is in (Baez-Stay 09).
The observation that a natural language for quantum information theory and quantum computation, specifically for quantum circuit diagrams, is that of string diagrams in †-compact categories (see quantum information theory via dagger-compact categories):
Samson Abramsky, Bob Coecke, A categorical semantics of quantum protocols, Proceedings of the 19th IEEE conference on Logic in Computer Science (LiCS’04). IEEE Computer Science Press (2004) $[$arXiv:quant-ph/0402130, doi:10.1109/LICS.2004.1319636$]$
Samson Abramsky, Bob Coecke, Categorical quantum mechanics, in Handbook of Quantum Logic and Quantum Structures, Elsevier (2008) $[$arXiv:0808.1023, ISBN:9780080931661, doi:10.1109/LICS.2004.1319636$]$
On the relation to quantum logic/linear logic:
Samson Abramsky, Ross Duncan, A Categorical Quantum Logic, Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 16 3 (2006) $[$arXiv:quant-ph/0512114, doi:10.1017/S0960129506005275$]$
Ross Duncan, Types for quantum mechanics, 2006 $[$pdf, slides$]$
Early exposition with introduction to monoidal category theory:
Bob Coecke, Kindergarten quantum mechanics $[$arXiv:quant-ph/0510032$]$
Bob Coecke, Introducing categories to the practicing physicist $[$arXiv:0808.1032$]$
John Baez, Mike Stay, Physics, topology, logic and computation: a rosetta stone in: New Structures for Physics, Bob Coecke (ed.), Lecture Notes in Physics 813, Springer (2011) 95-174 $[$arxiv/0903.0340$]$
Bob Coecke, Eric Oliver Paquette, Categories for the practising physicist $[$arXiv:0905.3010$]$
Bob Coecke, Quantum Picturalism $[$arXiv:0908.1787$]$
With further emphasis on quantum computation:
Generalization to quantum operations on mixed states (completely positive maps of density matrices):
Peter Selinger, Dagger compact closed categories and completely positive maps, Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 170 (2007) 139-163 $[$doi:10.1016/j.entcs.2006.12.018, web, pdf$]$
Bob Coecke, Chris Heunen, Pictures of complete positivity in arbitrary dimension, Information and Computation 250 50-58 (2016) $[$arXiv:1110.3055, doi:10.1016/j.ic.2016.02.007$]$
Bob Coecke, Chris Heunen, Aleks Kissinger,
Categories of Quantum and Classical Channels, EPTCS 158 (2014) 1-14 $[$arXiv:1408.0049, doi:10.4204/EPTCS.158.1$]$
Formalization of quantum measurement via Frobenius algebra-structures:
Bob Coecke, Duško Pavlović, Quantum measurements without sums, in Louis Kauffman, Samuel Lomonaco (eds.), Mathematics of Quantum Computation and Quantum Technology, Taylor & Francis (2008) 559-596 $[$arXiv:quant-ph/0608035, doi:10.1201/9781584889007$]$
Bob Coecke, Duško Pavlović, Jamie Vicary, A new description of orthogonal bases, Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 23 3 (2012) 555- 567 $[$arXiv:0810.0812, doi:10.1017/S0960129512000047$]$
Textbook accounts (with background on relevant monoidal category theory):
Bob Coecke, Aleks Kissinger, Picturing Quantum Processes – A First Course in Quantum Theory and Diagrammatic Reasoning, Cambridge University Press (2017) $[$ISBN:9781107104228$]$
Chris Heunen, Jamie Vicary, Categories for Quantum Theory, Oxford University Press 2019 $[$ISBN:9780198739616$]$
based on:
Chris Heunen, Jamie Vicary, Lectures on categorical quantum mechanics (2012) $[$pdf, pdf$]$
Bob Coecke, Stefano Gogioso, Quantum in Pictures, Quantinuum Publications (2023) $[$ISBN 978-1739214715, Quantinuum blog$]$
(focus on ZX-calculus)
Refinement to the ZX-calculus for specific control of quantum circuit-diagrams:
Relating the ZX-calculus to braided fusion categories for anyon braiding:
The role of complex numbers in general $\dagger$-compact categories:
Last revised on November 24, 2022 at 16:48:15. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.