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The classical analogue of quantum mechanics

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Richard Feynman is known for his quote ”I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” In this talk I will establish a weaker result, namely ”to fully understand something quantum, one has to at least know what the classical equivalent of it is.”

As observed by Bell in 1964, quantum mechanics is not compatible with certain classical theories. Nevertheless, classical theories, such as Spekkens toy theory, can exhibit many quantum-like features. In fact, Collins and Popescu have found a strong analogy between quantum entanglement and secret classical correlations (for example, teleportation corresponds to one-time pad in their framework). I will extend their framework by describing a classical analogue of mixed quantum states. This leads to even more striking classical analogues of quantum phenomena, such as bound entanglement and superactivation of quantum capacity. To illustrate the usefulness of this unusual classical theory, I will explain a new construction of bound entangled states with smaller dimension (3×3) and higher amount of secret key, and show that local noise can increase privacy in classical secret key distillation protocols.

This talk is based on a joint work (arXiv:1305.0848) with Graeme Smith and John Smolin from IBM .

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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