Chapter

Quantum Information Theory

Christopher G. Timpson

in Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780199296460
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741791 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296460.003.0003

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Quantum Information Theory

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The approach to thinking about information developed in the previous chapter is turned towards the quantum theory. First, some of the characteristic ideas and applications of quantum information theory are presented, then the nature of quantum information itself is discussed. With the correct conception of Shannon information to hand, the dimension of generalisation which the quantum concept occupies is made clear. Quantum information is simply what is produced by a quantum information source. As in the classical case, a piece of information will be an abstract type (a sequence of quantum states), rather than a concrete thing or physical substance. This conception is defended from a number of potential objections which might be raised. With a clear grasp obtained of the relation between quantum information and the world, it proves short work to dissect the slogan `Information is Physical’ and dispatch the prospect of informational immaterialism.

Keywords: Quantum information; bits vs. qubits; accessible vs. specification information; entanglement-assisted communication; quantum computation; quantum coding theorem; Jozsa, R; Duwell, A; nihilism about quantum information; informational immaterialism; ‘Information is Physical’

Chapter.  15238 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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