Conservation of information and the foundations of quantum mechanics
Center for Quantum Information, Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Published online: 29 May 2015
We review a recent approach to the foundations of quantum mechanics inspired by quantum information theory [1, 2]. The approach is based on a general framework, which allows one to address a large class of physical theories which share basic information-theoretic features. We first illustrate two very primitive features, expressed by the axioms of causality and purity-preservation, which are satisfied by both classical and quantum theory. We then discuss the axiom of purification, which expresses a strong version of the Conservation of Information and captures the core of a vast number of protocols in quantum information. Purification is a highly non-classical feature and leads directly to the emergence of entanglement at the purely conceptual level, without any reference to the superposition principle. Supplemented by a few additional requirements, satisfied by classical and quantum theory, it provides a complete axiomatic characterization of quantum theory for finite dimensional systems.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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