What is quantum information?

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Lombardi, Olimpia; Holik, Federico; Vanni, Leonardo
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In the present paper we develop different arguments to show that there are no reasons to consider that there exists quantum information as qualitatively different than Shannon information. There is only one kind of information, which can be coded by means of orthogonal or non-orthogonal states. The analogy between Shannon’s theory and Schumacher’s theory is confined to coding theorems. The attempt to extend the analogy beyond this original scope leads to a concept of quantum information that becomes indistinguishable from that of quantum state. But information is essentially linked with communication, as it is clear in both Shannon’s and Schumacher’s proposals. If we detach information from this link, we are not talking about information but about quantum mechanics. We also stress the neutrality of information with respect to the physical theories that describe the systems used for its implementation. This view opens the way towards a non-reductive unification of physics: if different physical theories can be reconstructed on the same neutral informational basis, they could be meaningfully compared with no need of searching for reductive links among them.