IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory

An extreme form of superactivation for quantum zero-error capacities

View publication


The zero-error capacity of a channel is the rate at which it can send information perfectly, with zero probability of error, and has long been studied in classical information theory. We show that the zero-error capacity of quantum channels exhibits an extreme form of nonadditivity, one which is not possible for classical channels, or even for the usual capacities of quantum channels. By combining probabilistic arguments with algebraic geometry, we prove that there exist channels ε E 1 and ε 2 with no zero-error classical capacity whatsoever, C 0(ε1) = C 0(ε 2) = 0, but whose joint zero-error quantum capacity is positive, Q 0 (ε 1⊗ ε 2) ≥ 1. This striking effect is an extreme form of the superactivation phenomenon, as it implies that both the classical and quantum zero-error capacities of these channels can be superactivated simultaneously, while being a strictly stronger property of capacities. Superactivation of the quantum zero-error capacity was not previously known. © 2012 IEEE.


01 Mar 2012


IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory