Quantum information does not exist

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20 Scopus citations


Some physicists seem to believe that quantum information theory requires a new concept of information (Jozsa, 1998, Quantum information and its properties. In: Hoi-Kwong Lo, S. Popescu, T. Spiller (Eds.), Introduction to Quantum Computation and Information, World Scientific, Singapore, (pp. 49-75); Deutsch & Hayden, 1999, Information flow in entangled quantum subsystems, preprint quant-ph/9906007). I will argue that no new concept is necessary. Shannon's concept of information is sufficient for quantum information theory. Properties that are cited to contrast quantum information and classical information (i.e., Shannon information) actually point to differences in our ability to manipulate, access, and transfer information depending on whether quantum systems, opposed to classical systems, are used in a communication system. I also demonstrate that conceptually puzzling phenomena in quantum information theory, such as dense coding, teleportation, and Schumacher coding, all of which are cited as evidence that a new concept of information is required, do not have to be regarded as such.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-499
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Dense coding
  • Josza
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum teleportation
  • Schumacher coding
  • Shannon's concept of information


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