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On the irreversibility of entanglement distillation

K.G.H. Vollbrecht, R.F. Werner, M.M. Wolf

Phys. Rev. A 69, 062304 **, (2004)

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.69.062304 Pfeil
*arXiv.org*: quant-ph/0301072 Pfeil

Abstract: We investigate the irreversibility of entanglement distillation for a symmetric d-1 parameter family of mixed bipartite quantum states acting on Hilbert spaces of arbitrary dimension d x d. We prove that in this family the entanglement cost is generically strictly larger than the distillable entanglement, such that the set of states for which the distillation process is asymptotically reversible is of measure zero. This remains true even if the distillation process is catalytically assisted by pure state entanglement and every operation is allowed, which preserves the positivity of the partial transpose. It is shown, that reversibility occurs only in cases where the state is quasi-pure in the sense that all its pure state entanglement can be revealed by a simple operation on a single copy. The reversible cases are shown to be completely characterized by minimal uncertainty vectors for entropic uncertainty relations.