Squashing Models for Optical Measurements in Quantum Communication
Beaudry, Normand James
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Many protocols and experiments in quantum information science are described in terms of simple measurements on qubits. However, in an experimental implementation, the exact description of the measurement is usually more complicated. If there is a claim made from the results of an experiment by using the simplified measurement description, then do the claims still hold when the more realistic description is taken into account? We present a "squashing" model that decomposes the realistic measurement description into first a map, followed by a simplified measurement. The squashing model then provides a connection between a realistic measurement and an ideal measurement. If the squashing model exists for a given measurement, then all claims made about a measurement using the simplified description also apply to the complicated one. We give necessary and sufficient conditions to determine when this model exists. We show how it can be applied to quantum key distribution, entanglement verification, and other quantum communication protocols. We also consider several examples of detectors commonly used in quantum communication to determine if they have squashing models.