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Characterizing quantum theory in terms of informationtheoretic constraints
 Foundations of Physics
, 2003
"... We show that three fundamental informationtheoretic constraints—the impossibility of superluminal information transfer between two physical systems by performing measurements on one of them, the impossibility of broadcasting the information contained in an unknown physical state, and the impossibil ..."
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Cited by 56 (2 self)
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We show that three fundamental informationtheoretic constraints—the impossibility of superluminal information transfer between two physical systems by performing measurements on one of them, the impossibility of broadcasting the information contained in an unknown physical state, and the impossibility of unconditionally secure bit commitment—suffice to entail that the observables and state space of a physical theory are quantummechanical. We demonstrate the converse derivation in part, and consider the implications of alternative answers to a remaining open question about nonlocality and bit commitment. KEY WORDS: quantum theory; informationtheoretic constraints. Of John Wheeler’s ‘‘Really Big Questions,’ ’ the one on which most progress has been made is It from Bit?—does information play a significant role at the foundations of physics? It is perhaps less ambitious than some of the other Questions, such as How Come Existence?, because it does not necessarily require a metaphysical answer. And unlike, say, Why the Quantum?, it does not require the discovery of new laws of nature: there was room for hope that it might be answered through a better understanding of the laws as we currently know them, particularly those of quantum physics. And this is what has happened: the better understanding is the quantum theory of information and computation. 1
Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
, 2004
"... This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of ..."
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Cited by 28 (7 self)
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This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of information is to be firmly distinguished from the technical notions arising in information theory; noun, hence does not refer to a particular or substance. The popular claim ‘Information is Physical ’ is assessed and it is argued that this proposition faces a destructive dilemma. Accordingly, the slogan may not be understood as an ontological claim, but at best, as a methodological one. A novel argument is provided against Dretske’s (1981) attempt to base a semantic notion of information on ideas from information theory. The function of various measures of information content for quantum systems is explored and the applicability of the Shannon information in the quantum context maintained against the challenge of Brukner and Zeilinger (2001). The phenomenon of quantum teleportation is then explored as a case study serving to emphasize the value of
Why the Quantum?
, 2004
"... This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of informa ..."
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Cited by 25 (1 self)
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This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of information transfer, as opposed to a theory about the mechanics of nonclassical waves or particles, (2) given the informationtheoretic constraints, any mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of the measuring instruments that reveal these phenomena must be empirically equivalent to a quantum theory, and (3) assuming the informationtheoretic constraints are in fact satisfied in our world, no mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of measurement interactions can be acceptable, and the appropriate aim of physics at the fundamental level then becomes the representation and manipulation of information.
Quantum Mechanics is About Quantum Information
, 2005
"... I argue that quantum mechanics is fundamentally a theory about the representation and manipulation of information, not a theory about the mechanics of nonclassical waves or particles. The notion of quantum information is to be understood as a new physical primitive—just as, following Einstein’s spec ..."
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Cited by 12 (1 self)
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I argue that quantum mechanics is fundamentally a theory about the representation and manipulation of information, not a theory about the mechanics of nonclassical waves or particles. The notion of quantum information is to be understood as a new physical primitive—just as, following Einstein’s special theory of relativity, a field is no longer regarded as the physical manifestation of vibrations in a mechanical medium, but recognized as a new physical entity in its own right.
Remote preparation of arbitrary ensembles and quantum bit commitment
, 2008
"... The HughstonJozsaWootters theorem shows that any finite ensemble of quantum states can be prepared “at a distance”, and it has been used to demonstrate the insecurity of all bit commitment protocols based on finite quantum systems without superselection rules. In this paper, we prove a generalized ..."
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Cited by 7 (0 self)
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The HughstonJozsaWootters theorem shows that any finite ensemble of quantum states can be prepared “at a distance”, and it has been used to demonstrate the insecurity of all bit commitment protocols based on finite quantum systems without superselection rules. In this paper, we prove a generalized HJW theorem for arbitrary ensembles of states on a C∗algebra. We then use this result to demonstrate the insecurity of bit commitment protocols based on infinite quantum systems, and quantum systems with Abelian superselection rules.
Quantum information and computation
 arXiv:quantph/0512125. Forthcoming in Butterfield and Earman (eds.) Handbook of Philosophy of Physics
, 2005
"... This Chapter deals with theoretical developments in the subject of quantum information and quantum computation, and includes an overview of classical information and some relevant quantum mechanics. The discussion covers topics in quantum communication, quantum cryptography, and quantum computation, ..."
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Cited by 7 (2 self)
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This Chapter deals with theoretical developments in the subject of quantum information and quantum computation, and includes an overview of classical information and some relevant quantum mechanics. The discussion covers topics in quantum communication, quantum cryptography, and quantum computation, and concludes by considering whether a perspective in terms of quantum information
Optimization of coherent attacks in generalizations of the BB84 quantum bit . . .
, 2002
"... It is well known that no quantum bit commitment protocol is unconditionally secure. Nonetheless, there can be nontrivial upper bounds on both Bob’s probability of correctly estimating Alice’s commitment and Alice’s probability of successfully unveiling whatever bit she desires. In this paper, we se ..."
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Cited by 3 (0 self)
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It is well known that no quantum bit commitment protocol is unconditionally secure. Nonetheless, there can be nontrivial upper bounds on both Bob’s probability of correctly estimating Alice’s commitment and Alice’s probability of successfully unveiling whatever bit she desires. In this paper, we seek to determine these bounds for generalizations of the BB84 bit commitment protocol. In such protocols, an honest Alice commits to a bit by randomly choosing a state from a specified set and submitting this to Bob, and later unveils the bit to Bob by announcing the chosen state, at which point Bob measures the projector onto the state. Bob’s optimal cheating strategy can be easily deduced from well known results in the theory of quantum state estimation. We show how to understand Alice’s most general cheating strategy, (which involves her submitting to Bob one half of an entangled state) in terms of a theorem of Hughston, Jozsa and Wootters. We also show how the problem of optimizing Alice’s cheating strategy for a fixed submitted state can be mapped onto a problem of state estimation. Finally, using the Bloch ball representation of qubit states, we identify the optimal coherent attack for a class of protocols that can be implemented with just a single qubit. These results provide a tight upper bound on Alice’s probability of successfully unveiling whatever bit she desires in the protocol proposed by Aharonov et al., and lead us to identify a qubit protocol with even greater security.
Reconceiving quantum theories in terms of informationtheoretic constraints
, 2005
"... This paper examines Bub’s interpretation of the foundational significance of the theorem of Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson (CBH) which characterizes quantum theories in terms of informationtheoretic constraints. Bub argues that quantum theory must be reconcieved of as a principle theory of informat ..."
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Cited by 1 (0 self)
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This paper examines Bub’s interpretation of the foundational significance of the theorem of Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson (CBH) which characterizes quantum theories in terms of informationtheoretic constraints. Bub argues that quantum theory must be reconcieved of as a principle theory of information where information is a new physical primitive, to the exclusion of hidden variable theories. I will argue, contrary to Bub, that the CBH theorem cannot be used to exlcude hidden variables theories. Drawing inspiration from Bub, I sketch an alternative conception of quantum mechanics as a principle theory of information, but one which embraces all empirically equivalent quantum theories. 1 1
Trinity Term 2004 Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
"... This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of ..."
Abstract
 Add to MetaCart
This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of information is to be firmly distinguished from the technical notions arising in information theory; noun, hence does not refer to a particular or substance. The popular claim ‘Information is Physical ’ is assessed and it is argued that this proposition faces a destructive dilemma. Accordingly, the slogan may not be understood as an ontological claim, but at best, as a methodological one. A novel argument is provided against Dretske’s (1981) attempt to base a semantic notion of information on ideas from information theory. The function of various measures of information content for quantum systems is explored and the applicability of the Shannon information in the quantum context maintained against the challenge of Brukner and Zeilinger (2001). The phenomenon of quantum teleportation is then explored as a case study serving to emphasize the value of