ELE 538B: Quantum Information Theory

Prof. Paul Cuff, Princeton University, Fall Semester 2014-15.

Course Description

Information theory addresses the fundamental mathematical limits of communication (error correction), compression, and security, built upon probability theory. This material brings quantum mechanics into the picture to derive the mathematical limits of information processing in the physical world. This includes error correction encoding for preserving a quantum state, secret key agreement via quantum channels, etc.

This course builds quantum information theory from the ground up, connecting it to classical informaiton theory at each step of the way. No prior expertise is assumed.

Prerequisites: comfortable with probability and linear algebra

(registrar course listing)


Background in Quantum Mechanics:
pure/mixed state
density operator

Resource Tradeoffs and Protocols:
super-dense coding
coherent classical communication

Classical Information Theory:
entropy/mutual information
lossless compression
channel capacity

Quantum Information Theory:
von Neumann entropy
Schumacher compression
entanglement concentration
quantum channel capacities

Teaching Staff


Prof. Paul Cuff
Office location: B-316 E-quad
Office hours: Tuesday 3-4pm

Time and Location


Room: Friend Center 111
T/Th 10:30-11:50am


We will follow this textbook in the lectures and use it for reading and assignments:

Quantum Information Theory, Mark Wilde. (available online here)

Picture of Textbook 

Optional Resources

Another information theory resource is the popular text by Cover and Thomas:

Picture of Textbook 


Blackboard will not be used for this course.