Matrix pencils and entanglement classification

Eric Chitambar, Carl A. Miller, Yaoyun Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantum entanglement plays a central role in quantum information processing. A main objective of the theory is to classify different types of entanglement according to their interconvertibility through manipulations that do not require additional entanglement to perform. While bipartite entanglement is well understood in this framework, the classification of entanglements among three or more subsystems is inherently much more difficult. In this paper, we study pure state entanglement in systems of dimension 2⊗m⊗n. Two states are considered equivalent if they can be reversibly converted from one to the other with a nonzero probability using only local quantum resources and classical communication (SLOCC). We introduce a connection between entanglement manipulations in these systems and the well-studied theory of matrix pencils. All previous attempts to study general SLOCC equivalence in such systems have relied on somewhat contrived techniques which fail to reveal the elegant structure of the problem that can be seen from the matrix pencil approach. Based on this method, we report the first polynomial-time algorithm for deciding when two 2⊗m⊗n states are SLOCC equivalent. We then proceed to present a canonical form for all 2⊗m⊗n states based on the matrix pencil construction such that two states are equivalent if and only if they have the same canonical form. Besides recovering the previously known 26 distinct SLOCC equivalence classes in 2⊗3⊗n systems, we also determine the hierarchy between these classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020007JMP
JournalJournal of Mathematical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

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