Norms and Cones in the Theory of Quantum Entanglement


There are various notions of positivity for matrices and linear matrix-valued maps that play important roles in quantum information theory. The cones of positive semidefinite matrices and completely positive linear maps, which represent quantum states and quantum channels respectively, are the most ubiquitous positive cones. There are also many natural cones that can been regarded as “more” or “less” positive than these standard examples. In particular, entanglement theory deals with the cones of separable operators and entanglement witnesses, which satisfy very strong and weak positivity properties respectively.

Rather complementary to the various cones that arise in entanglement theory are norms. The trace norm (or operator norm, depending on context) for operators and the diamond norm (or completely bounded norm) for superoperators are the typical norms that are seen throughout quantum information theory. In this work our main goal is to develop a family of norms that play a role analogous to the cone of entanglement witnesses. We investigate the basic mathematical properties of these norms, including their relationships with other well-known norms, their isometry groups, and their dual norms. We also make the place of these norms in entanglement theory rigorous by showing that entanglement witnesses arise from minimal operator systems, and analogously our norms arise from minimal operator spaces.

Finally, we connect the various cones and norms considered here to several seemingly unrelated problems from other areas. We characterize the problem of whether or not non-positive partial transpose bound entangled states exist in terms of one of our norms, and provide evidence in favour of their existence. We also characterize the minimum gate fidelity of a quantum channel, the maximum output purity and its completely bounded counterpart, and the geometric measure of entanglement in terms of these norms.


  • Nathaniel Johnston


Cite as:

  • N. Johnston. Norms and Cones in the Theory of Quantum Entanglement. PhD thesis, University of Guelph, 2012.

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