Technical Report MSC-2017-17

Title: Entanglement and Geometrical Distances in Quantum Information and Quantum Cryptography
Authors: Rotem Liss
Supervisors: Tal Mor
PDFCurrently accessibly only within the Technion network
Abstract: The counter-intuitive features of Quantum Mechanics make it possible to solve problems and perform tasks that are beyond the abilities of classical computers and classical communication devices. The area of quantum information processing studies how representing information by quantum states can help achieving such improvements.

In this research, we use basic notions of quantum information (mainly entanglement, Bloch sphere, and geometrical distances between quantum states) for analyzing relations of quantum states to each other and quantum cryptographic protocols.

Entanglement is an important feature of quantum states. Intuitively (and, partly, inaccurately), entanglement represents quantum (non-classical) correlations between several different quantum systems. Entanglement is one of the most important quantum phenomena, and it has many uses in quantum information, quantum communication, and quantum computing.

Some quantum states can be geometrically represented by the Bloch sphere: the unit sphere in the three-dimensional Euclidean space. The "standard" quantum states, to which the laws of Quantum Mechanics directly apply, are called pure states. Other states are the mixed states: probability distributions ("mixtures") of several pure states. The points on the Bloch sphere are the pure states, and those inside the Bloch sphere are the mixed states. This geometrical representation is useful and intuitive for many purposes.

We provide a geometrical analysis of entanglement for all the quantum mixed states of rank 2 (all the mixtures of exactly two pure states): for any such state (in any dimension), we define a generalized Bloch sphere by using the two pure states, and we analyze this state and its neighbor states inside this Bloch sphere. We look at the set of non-entangled states ("separable states") in the Bloch sphere and characterize it into exactly five possible classes. We give examples for each class and prove that there are no other classes. In addition, we suggest possible definitions of "entanglement measures" by using the "trace distance" from the nearest separable state.

Many types of distances between quantum states can be defined. One of the most useful distances is the trace distance, which bounds the "distinguishability" between the states. The trace distance is very useful in quantum information and quantum cryptography, and it also has a simple geometrical interpretation: it is half of the Euclidean distance between the states in the Bloch sphere.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols make it possible for two participators to achieve the classically-impossible task of generating a secret random shared key even if their adversary is computationally unlimited. Several important QKD protocols, including the first protocol of Bennett and Brassard (BB84), have their unconditional security proved against adversaries performing the most general attacks in a theoretical (idealized) setting. We discuss a slightly different protocol, named "BB84-INFO-z", and prove it secure against a broad class of attacks (the collective attacks). Moreover, we make use of the "trace distance" for making our security proof more "composable" than similar security proofs for BB84: namely, for making a step towards proving that the secret key remains secret even when the two participators actually use it for cryptographic purposes.

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