News Release

Researchers propose conditions for maximizing quantum entanglement

Entanglement is a key concept in quantum physics and a condition for the success of quantum computing

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

Entanglement is a property of quantum physics that is manifested when two or more systems interact in such a way that their quantum states cannot be described independently. In the terminology of quantum physics, they are said to be entangled, i.e. strongly correlated. Entanglement is of paramount importance to quantum computing. The greater the entanglement, the more optimized and efficient the quantum computer.

A study conducted by researchers affiliated with the Department of Physics at São Paulo State University’s Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences (IGCE-UNESP) in Rio Claro, Brazil, tested a novel method of quantifying entanglement and the conditions for its maximization. Applications include optimizing the construction of a quantum computer.

An article on the study is published as a Letter in Physical Review B.

The study showed how the Hellmann-Feynman theorem breaks down under specific conditions. The theorem describes the dependence of the system’s own energy on a control parameter and is a key part of quantum mechanics used across disciplines from quantum chemistry to particle physics.

“Simply put, we propose a quantum analog of the Grüneisen parameter widely used in thermodynamics to explore finite temperature and quantum critical points. In our proposal, the quantum Grüneisen parameter quantifies entanglement, or von Neumann entropy, in relation to a control parameter, which may be a magnetic field or a certain level of pressure, for example,” Valdeci Mariano de Souza, last author of the article and a professor at IGCE-UNESP, told Agência FAPESP. “Using our proposal, we demonstrate that entanglement will be maximized in the vicinity of quantum critical points and that the Hellmann-Feynman theorem breaks down at a critical point.”

For Souza, the results contribute to basic research in physics and could also have a direct impact on quantum computing. Recalling Intel cofounder Gordon Moore’s 1965 prediction that the number of transistors used in conventional computers would double every two years, he said this rapid growth in the power of classical computers cannot last, while recent technological advances are enabling quantum computing to progress by leaps and bounds, with giants like Google and IBM in the lead.

“In conventional computing, binary language in terms of zeroes and ones is used to process information. Quantum mechanics, however, superimposes states and hugely increases processing capacity. Hence the growing interest in research on quantum entanglement,” he explained.

The study was proposed and designed by Souza, and important contributions were made by Lucas Squillante, a postdoctoral researcher he supervises. The other collaborators were Antonio Seridonio (UNESP Ilha Solteira), Roberto Lagos-Monaco (UNESP Rio Claro), Luciano Ricco (University of Iceland), and Aniekan Magnus Ukpong (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa).

Research leading to production of the article was supported by FAPESP via projects 11/22050-4 and 18/09413-0.

About São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can learn more about FAPESP at and visit FAPESP news agency at to keep updated with the latest scientific breakthroughs FAPESP helps achieve through its many programs, awards and research centers. You may also subscribe to FAPESP news agency at

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