A Caltech Library Service

When quantum tomography goes wrong: drift of quantum sources and other errors

van Enk, S. J. and Blume-Kohout, Robin (2013) When quantum tomography goes wrong: drift of quantum sources and other errors. New Journal of Physics, 15 . Art. No. 025024. ISSN 1367-2630. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/15/2/025024.

PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The principle behind quantum tomography is that a large set of observations—many samples from a 'quorum' of distinct observables—can all be explained satisfactorily as measurements on a single underlying quantum state or process. Unfortunately, this principle may not hold. When it fails, any standard tomographic estimate should be viewed skeptically. Here we propose a simple way to test for this kind of failure using the Akaike information criterion. We point out that the application of this criterion in a quantum context, while still powerful, is not as straightforward as it is in classical physics. This is especially the case when future observables differ from those constituting the quorum.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Issue 2 (February 2013); Received 31 May 2012; Published 18 February 2013. This work was supported by NSF grant no. PHY-1004219. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the US Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000. Note added in proof: Upon completion of this paper [18] appeared, which is similar in spirit to our paper, but which uses χ2 tests to detect errors in tomography. It points out, too, the problem with pure-state assignments for those tests. After submission of the proofs we also became aware of a very relevant article [19].
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security AdministrationDE-AC04-94AL85000
Classification Code:PACS: 03.65.Wj; 03.65.Ta
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130320-140831416
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:When quantum tomography goes wrong: drift of quantum sources and other errors S J van Enk and Robin Blume-Kohout 2013 New J. Phys. 15 025024
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37580
Deposited On:25 Mar 2013 20:58
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 19:44

Repository Staff Only: item control page