Optimal simulation of two-qubit Hamiltonians using general local operations

C H Bennett, J I Cirac, M S Leifer, D W Leung, N Linden, S Popescu, G Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We consider the simulation of the dynamics of one nonlocal Hamiltonian by another, allowing arbitrary local resources but no entanglement or classical communication. We characterize notions of simulation, and proceed to focus on deterministic simulation involving one copy of the system. More specifically, two otherwise isolated systems A and B interact by a nonlocal Hamiltonian Hnot equalH(A)+H-B. We consider the achievable space of Hamiltonians H-' such that the evolution e(-iH')t can be simulated by the interaction H interspersed with local operations. For any dimensions of A and B, and any nonlocal Hamiltonians H and H-', there exists a scale factor s such that for all times t the evolution e(-iH')st can be simulated by H acting for time t interspersed with local operations. For two-qubit Hamiltonians H and H-', we calculate the optimal s and give protocols achieving it. The optimal protocols do not require local ancillas, and can be understood geometrically in terms of a polyhedron defined by a partial order on the set of two-qubit Hamiltonians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012305
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002

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