A resource theory of quantum measurements

Thomas Guff*, Nathan McMahon, Yuval Sanders, Alexei Gilchrist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Resource theories are broad frameworks that capture how useful objects are in performing specific tasks. In this paper we devise a formal resource theory quantum measurements, focusing on the ability of a measurement to acquire information. The objects of the theory are equivalence classes of positive operator-valued measures, and the free transformations are changes to a measurement device that can only deteriorate its ability to report information about a physical system. We show that catalysis and purification, protocols that are possible in other resource theories, are impossible in our resource theory for quantum measurements. Standard measures of information gain are shown to be resource monotones, and the resource theory is applied to the task of quantum state discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
Article number225301
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021


  • quantum
  • measurement
  • resource
  • theory
  • quantum information
  • catalysis
  • state discrimination


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