Uncertainty relations are a distinctive characteristic of quantum theory that impose intrinsic limitations on the precision with which physical properties can be simultaneously determined. The modern work on uncertainty relations employs entropic measures to quantify the lack of knowledge associated with measuring noncommuting observables. However, there is no fundamental reason for using entropies as quantifiers; any functional relation that characterizes the uncertainty of the measurement outcomes defines an uncertainty relation. Starting from a very reasonable assumption of invariance under mere relabeling of the measurement outcomes, we show that Schur-concave functions are the most general uncertainty quantifiers. We then discover a fine-grained uncertainty relation that is given in terms of the majorization order between two probability vectors, significantly extending a majorization-based uncertainty relation first introduced in M. H. Partovi, Phys. Rev. A 84, 052117 (2011). Such a vector-type uncertainty relation generates an infinite family of distinct scalar uncertainty relations via the application of arbitrary uncertainty quantifiers. Our relation is therefore universal and captures the essence of uncertainty in quantum theory.
- Received 10 May 2013
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