The Forbidden Quantum Adder
Álvarez Rodríguez, Unai
Sanz Ruiz, Mikel
Lamata Manuel, Lucas
Solano Villanueva, Enrique Leónidas
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Scientific Reports 5: (2015) // Article ID 11983
Quantum information provides fundamentally different computational resources than classical information. We prove that there is no unitary protocol able to add unknown quantum states belonging to different Hilbert spaces. This is an inherent restriction of quantum physics that is related to the impossibility of copying an arbitrary quantum state, i.e., the no-cloning theorem. Moreover, we demonstrate that a quantum adder, in absence of an ancillary system, is also forbidden for a known orthonormal basis. This allows us to propose an approximate quantum adder that could be implemented in the lab. Finally, we discuss the distinct character of the forbidden quantum adder for quantum states and the allowed quantum adder for density matrices.