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An informational derivation of Quantum Theory

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ashley Montanaro.

In this talk I will present a set of informational principles that completely identify finite-dimensional quantum theory on complex Hilbert spaces. Five elementary axioms — causality, perfect distinguishability, ideal compression, local distinguishability, and pure conditioning — define a broad class of theories of information-processing that can be regarded as standard. One postulate — purification — singles out quantum theory uniquely within this class. The main structures of quantum theory, such as the representation of mixed states as convex combinations of perfectly distinguishable pure states, are derived directly from the principles without resorting to the Hilbert space framework.

This work has been done in collaboration with M. D’Ariano and P. Perinotti and is available at

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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