CLASSICAL INFORMATION CAPACITY OF A QUANTUM CHANNEL
We consider the transmission of classical information over a quantum channel. The channel is defined by an ‘‘alphabet’’ of quantum states, e.g., certain photon polarizations, together with a specified set of probabilities with which these states must be sent. If the receiver is restricted to making separate measurements on the received ‘‘letter’’ states, then the Kholevo theorem implies that the amount of information transmitted per letter cannot be greater than the von Neumann entropy H of the letter ensemble. In fact the actual amount of transmitted information will usually be significantly less than H. We show, however, that if the sender uses a block coding scheme consisting of a choice of code words that respects the a priori probabilities of the letter states, and the receiver distinguishes whole words rather than individual letters, then the information transmitted per letter can be made arbitrarily close to H and never exceeds H. This provides a precise information-theoretic interpretation of von Neumann entropy in quantum mechanics. We apply this result to ‘‘superdense’’ coding, and we consider its extension to noisy channels. © 1996 The American Physical Society.
Physical Review A