Theory Group Seminar, 05 November 2019

Jason Pollack, University of British Columbia

Quantum State Reduction: Generalized Bipartitions from Algebras of Observables

abstract

Reduced density matrices are a powerful tool in the analysis of entanglement structure, approximate or coarse-grained dynamics, decoherence, and the emergence of classicality. It is straightforward to produce a reduced density matrix with the partial-trace map by ``tracing out'' part of the quantum state, but in many natural situations this reduction may not be achievable. We investigate the general problem of identifying how the quantum state reduces given a restriction on the observables. For example, in an experimental setting, the set of observables that can actually be measured is usually modest (compared to the set of all possible observables) and their resolution is limited. In such situations, the appropriate state-reduction map can be defined via a generalized bipartition, which is associated with the structure of irreducible representations of the algebra generated by the restricted set of observables. We present a general algorithm for finding irreducible representations of matrix algebras. Our results have relevance for quantum information, bulk reconstruction in holography, and quantum gravity.