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Eliahu Cohen, Tobias Hansen, and Nissan Itzhaki (2016)

From Entanglement Witness to Generalized Catalan Numbers

The problem of entanglement detection for arbitrary spin systems is analyzed. We demonstrate how a single measurement of the squared total spin can probabilistically discern separable from entangled many-particle states. For achieving this goal, we construct a tripartite analogy between the degeneracy of entanglement witness eigenstates, tensor products of SO(3) representations and classical lattice walks with special constraints. Within this framework, degeneracies are naturally given by generalized Catalan numbers and determine the fraction of states that are decidedly entangled and also known to be somewhat protected against decoherence. In addition, we introduce the concept of a "sterile entanglement witness", which for large enough systems detects entanglement without affecting much the system's state. We discuss when our proposed entanglement witness can be regarded as a sterile one.