Gaussian entanglement revisited

Ludovico Lami, Alessio Serafini, Gerardo Adesso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. We present a novel approach to the separability problem for Gaussian quantum states of bosonic continuous variable systems. We derive a simplified necessary and sufficient separability criterion for arbitrary Gaussian states of m versus n modes, which relies on convex optimisation over marginal covariance matrices on one subsystem only. We further revisit the currently known results stating the equivalence between separability and positive partial transposition (PPT) for specific classes of Gaussian states. Using techniques based on matrix analysis, such as Schur complements and matrix means, we then provide a unified treatment and compact proofs of all these results. In particular, we recover the PPT-separability equivalence for: (i) Gaussian states of 1 versus n modes; and (ii) isotropic Gaussian states. In passing, we also retrieve (iii) the recently established equivalence between separability of a Gaussian state and and its complete Gaussian extendability. Our techniques are then applied to progress beyond the state of the art. We prove that: (iv) Gaussian states that are invariant under partial transposition are necessarily separable; (v) the PPT criterion is necessary and sufficient for separability for Gaussian states of m versus n modes that are symmetric under the exchange of any two modes belonging to one of the parties; and (vi) Gaussian states which remain PPT under passive optical operations can not be entangled by them either. This is not a foregone conclusion per se (since Gaussian bound entangled states do exist) and settles a question that had been left unanswered in the existing literature on the subject. This paper, enjoyable by both the quantum optics and the matrix analysis communities, overall delivers technical and conceptual advances which are likely to be useful for further applications in continuous variable quantum information theory, beyond the separability problem.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023030
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Gaussian entanglement
  • passive optics
  • positive partial transposition (PPT) criterion
  • quantum continuous variable
  • quantum entanglement
  • quantum information
  • quantum optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Gaussian entanglement revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this