Publications by PierGianLuca Porta Mana

Distinguishability of non-orthogonal density matrices does not imply violations of the second law

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PGL Mana

The hypothetical possibility of distinguishing preparations described by non-orthogonal density matrices does not necessarily imply a violation of the second law of thermodynamics, as was instead stated by von Neumann. On the other hand, such a possibility would surely mean that the particular density-matrix space (and related Hilbert space) adopted would not be adequate to describe the hypothetical new experimental facts. These points are shown by making clear the distinction between physical preparations and the density matrices which represent them, and then comparing a "quantum" thermodynamic analysis given by Peres with a "classical" one given by Jaynes.

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