Creating large-scale entanglement lies at the heart of many quantum information processing protocols and the investigation of fundamental physics. For multipartite quantum systems, it is crucial to identify not only the presence of entanglement but also its detailed structure. This is because in a generic experimental situation with sufficiently many subsystems involved, the production of so-called genuine multipartite entanglement remains a formidable challenge. Consequently, focusing exclusively on the identification of this strongest type of entanglement may result in an all or nothing situation where some inherently quantum aspects of the resource are overlooked. On the contrary, even if the system is not genuinely multipartite entangled, there may still be many-body entanglement present in the system. An identification of the entanglement structure may thus provide us with a hint about where imperfections in the setup may occur, as well as where we can identify groups of subsystems that can still exhibit strong quantum-information-processing capabilities. However, there is no known efficient methods to identify the underlying entanglement structure. Here, we propose two complementary families of witnesses for the identification of such structures. They are based, respectively, on the detection of entanglement intactness and entanglement depth, each applicable to an arbitrary number of subsystems and whose evaluation requires only the implementation of solely two local measurements. Our method is also robust against noises and other imperfections, as reflected by our experimental implementation of these tools to verify the entanglement structure of five different eight-photon entangled states. In particular, we demonstrate how their entanglement structure can be precisely and systematically inferred from the experimental measurement of these witnesses. In achieving this goal, we also illustrate how the same set of data can be classically postprocessed to learn the most about the measured system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)