Difficulty of distinguishing product states locally

Non-locality without entanglement is a rather counter-intuitive phenomenon in which information may be encoded entirely in product (unentangled) states of composite quantum systems in such a way that local measurement of the subsystems is not enough for optimal decoding. For simple examples of pure product states, the gap in performance is known to be rather small when arbitrary local strategies are allowed. Here we restrict to local strategies readily achievable with current technology; those requiring neither a quantum memory nor joint operations. We show that, even for measurements on pure product states there can be a large gap between such strategies and theoretically optimal performance. Thus even in the absence of entanglement physically realizable local strategies can be far from optimal for extracting quantum information.

Comments: 5 pages, 1 figure

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