Measurement Contextuality and Planck's Constant

TitleMeasurement Contextuality and Planck's Constant
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKocia, L, Love, P
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Date Published2018/07/12

Contextuality is a necessary resource for universal quantum computation and non-contextual quantum mechanics can be simulated efficiently by classical computers in many cases. Orders of Planck's constant, ℏ, can also be used to characterize the classical-quantum divide by expanding quantities of interest in powers of ℏ---all orders higher than ℏ0 can be interpreted as quantum corrections to the order ℏ0 term. We show that contextual measurements in finite-dimensional systems have formulations within the Wigner-Weyl-Moyal (WWM) formalism that require higher than order ℏ0 terms to be included in order to violate the classical bounds on their expectation values. As a result, we show that contextuality as a resource is equivalent to orders of ℏ as a resource within the WWM formalism. This explains why qubits can only exhibit state-independent contextuality under Pauli observables as in the Peres-Mermin square while odd-dimensional qudits can also exhibit state-dependent contextuality. In particular, we find that qubit Pauli observables lack an order ℏ0 contribution in their Weyl symbol and so exhibit contextuality regardless of the state being measured. On the other hand, odd-dimensional qudit observables generally possess non-zero order ℏ0 terms, and higher, in their WWM formulation, and so exhibit contextuality depending on the state measured: odd-dimensional qudit states that exhibit measurement contextuality have an order ℏ1 contribution that allows for the violation of classical bounds while states that do not exhibit measurement contextuality have insufficiently large order ℏ1 contributions.