Sudden death of entanglement and non-locality in two- and three-component quantum systems
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Quantum entanglement and non-locality are non-classical characteristics of quantum states with phase coherence that are of central importance to physics, and relevant to the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information science. This thesis examines quantum entanglement and non-locality in two- and three-component quantum states with phase coherence when they are subject to statistically independent, classical, Markovian, phase noise in various combinations at the local and collective level. Because this noise reduces phase coherence, it can also reduce quantum entanglement and Bell non-locality. After introducing and contextualizing the research, the results are presented in three broad areas. The first area characterizes the relative time scales of decoherence and disentanglement in 2 x 2 and 3 x 3 quantum states, as well as the various subsystems of the two classes of entangled tripartite two-level quantum states. In all cases, it was found that disentanglement time scales are less than or equal to decoherence time scales. The second area examines the finite-time loss of entanglement, even as quantum state coherence is lost only asymptotically in time due to local dephasing noise, a phenomenon entitled "Entanglement Sudden Death" (ESD). Extending the initial discovery in the simplest 2 x 2 case, ESD is shown to exist in all other systems where mixed-state entanglement measures exist, the 2 x 3 and d x d systems, for finite d > 2. The third area concerns non-locality, which is a physical phenomenon independent of quantum mechanics and related to, though fundamentally different from, entanglement. Non-locality, as quantified by classes of Bell inequalities, is shown to be lost in finite time, even when decoherence occurs only asymptotically. This phenomenon was named "Bell Non-locality Sudden Death" (BNSD).
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