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Approximating relational observables by absolute quantities: a quantum accuracy-size trade-off

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JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 22 Mar 2016
Issue number18
Volume49
Number of pages17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The notion that any physical quantity is defined and measured relative to a reference frame is traditionally not explicitly reflected in the theoretical description of physical experiments where, instead, the relevant observables are typically represented as 'absolute' quantities. However, the emergence of the resource theory of quantum reference frames as a new branch of quantum information science in recent years has highlighted the need to identify the physical conditions under which a quantum system can serve as a good reference. Here we investigate the conditions under which, in quantum theory, an account in terms of absolute quantities can provide a good approximation of relative quantities. We find that this requires the reference system to be large in a suitable sense.

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© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. This is an author-produced version of a paper accepted for publication. Uploaded with permission of the publisher/copyright holder. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • quantum mechanics, quantum reference frame

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