Operational Significance of Discord Consumption: Theory and Experiment
ABSTRACT Coherent interactions that generate negligible entanglement can still exhibit
unique quantum behaviour. This observation has motivated a search beyond
entanglement for a complete description of all quantum correlations. Quantum
discord is a promising candidate. Here, we demonstrate that under certain
measurement constraints, discord between bipartite systems can be consumed to
encode information that can only be accessed by coherent quantum interactions.
The inability to access this information by any other means allows us to use
discord to directly quantify this `quantum advantage'. We experimentally encode
information within the discordant correlations of two separable Gaussian
states. The amount of extra information recovered by coherent interaction is
quantified and directly linked with the discord consumed during encoding. No
entanglement exists at any point of this experiment. Thus we introduce and
demonstrate an operational method to use discord as a physical resource.