The symmetry SU(2) and its geometric Bloch Sphere rendering have been successfully applied to the study of a single qubit (spin-1/2); however, the extension of such symmetries and geometries to multiple qubits—even just two—has been investigated far less, despite the centrality of such systems for quantum information processes. In the last two decades, two different ap-proaches, with independent starting points and motivations, have been combined for this purpose. One approach has been to develop the unitary time evolution of two or more qubits in order to study quantum correlations; by exploiting the relevant Lie algebras and, especially, sub-algebras of the Hamiltonians involved, researchers have arrived at connections to finite projective geometries and combinatorial designs. Independently, geometers, by studying projective ring lines and associated finite geometries, have come to parallel conclusions. This review brings together the Lie-algebraic/group-representation perspective of quantum physics and the geometric–algebraic one, as well as their connections to complex quaternions. Altogether, this may be seen as further development of Felix Klein’s Erlangen Program for symmetries and geometries. In particular, the fifteen generators of the continuous SU(4) Lie group for two qubits can be placed in one-to-one correspondence with finite projective geometries, combinatorial Steiner designs, and finite quater-nionic groups. The very different perspectives that we consider may provide further insight into quantum information problems. Extensions are considered for multiple qubits, as well as higher-spin or higher-dimensional qudits.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Rau, A. (2021). Symmetries and geometries of qubits, and their uses. Symmetry, 13 (9) https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13091732