Irreducible magic sets for n-qubit systems.

Physical Review Letters

Magic sets of observables are minimal structures that capture quantum state-independent advantage for systems of n>=2 qubits and are, therefore, fundamental tools for investigating the interface between classical and quantum physics. A theorem by Arkhipov (arXiv:1209.3819) states that n-qubit magic sets in which each observable is in exactly two subsets of compatible observables can be reduced either to the two-qubit magic square or the three-qubit magic pentagram [N. D. Mermin, Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 3373 (1990)]. An open question is whether there are magic sets that cannot be reduced to the square or the pentagram. If they exist, a second key question is whether they require n>3 qubits, since, if this is the case, these magic sets would capture minimal state independent quantum advantage that is specific for n-qubit systems with specific values of n. Here, we answer both questions affirmatively. We identify magic sets which cannot be reduced to the square or the pentagram and require n=3,4,5, or 6 qubits. In addition, we prove a generalized version of Arkhipov's theorem providing an efficient algorithm for, given a hypergraph, deciding whether or not it can accommodate a magic set, and solve another open problem, namely, given a magic set, obtaining the tight bound of its associated noncontextuality inequality.