Quantum Communication with Zero-Capacity Channels

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Science  26 Sep 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5897, pp. 1812-1815
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162242

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Communication over a noisy quantum channel introduces errors in the transmission that must be corrected. A fundamental bound on quantum error correction is the quantum capacity, which quantifies the amount of quantum data that can be protected. We show theoretically that two quantum channels, each with a transmission capacity of zero, can have a nonzero capacity when used together. This unveils a rich structure in the theory of quantum communications, implying that the quantum capacity does not completely specify a channel's ability to transmit quantum information.

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