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A NOTE ON A TRACE INEQUALITY FOR POSITIVE
BLOCK MATRICES

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BLOCK MATRICES

AM

BESENYEI

AD

Abstract. We give a short proof of a trace inequality for 2 2 positive

block matrices which is a special case of the subadditivity inequality for

q-entropies.

1. Introduction

In this short note we prove the following remarkable inequality for positivesemidefinite block matrices.

Theorem. Let A, B, C Cnn be such that the block matrix

A B

X=

C2n2n

B C

is positive-semidefinite. Then

Tr AC Tr B B Tr A Tr C Tr B Tr B.

There holds equality if and only if X = Y Z for some positive-semidefinite

Y C22 , Z Cnn such that min(rank Y, rank Z) 1.

Remark. Clearly, if the equality conditions hold, then both sides are 0.

The inequality of the Theorem comes from the subadditivity of q-entropies

proved in [1]. It states that for any bipartite state in a finite-dimensional

Hilbert space H1 H2 it holds

Sq () Sq (Tr1 ) + Sq (Tr2 )

where

1 Tr q

(q > 1)

q1

is the so-called q-entropy and the partial traces Tr1 and Tr2 are linear operators defined by Tr1 : X Y 7 Tr(X)Y and Tr2 : X Y 7 Tr(Y )X (see

also [2]). If H1 = C2 and H2 = Cn and Mn denotes the space of n n

complex matrices, then for a density matrix

A B

=

M2 Mn

B C

Sq () =

Tr1 = A + C Mn

and

Tr2 =

Tr A Tr B

M2 .

Tr B Tr C

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification. 15A45.

Key words and phrases. positive block matrix, trace, entropy, inequality.

1

AM

BESENYEI

AD

Tr(A2 +C 2 )2 Tr B B 1Tr(A+C)2 (Tr A)2 (Tr C)2 2 Tr B Tr B

which reduces to the inequality of the Theorem by using Tr = Tr(A+C) =

1. The proof of the subadditivity relation in [1] is a bit delicate and therefore

the inequality of the Theorem deserves to have an elementary proof. This

will be provided in the following.

2. Proof of the inequality

We may assume that A is diagonal. Indeed, if U AU = with unitary

U and diagonal , then

U

0

A B U 0

U AU U BU

=

0 U B C 0 U

U B U U CU

and

Tr(U AU )(U CU ) Tr(U B U )(U BU ) = Tr AC,

Tr(U AU ) Tr(U CU ) Tr(U B U ) Tr(U BU ) = Tr A Tr C Tr B Tr B.

For diagonal A, the inequality has the form

n

X

aii cii

i=1

n

X

|bij |2

i,j=1

n

X

i=1

aii

n

X

i=1

2

n

X

cii

bii

i=1

X

X

X

|bij |2

(aii cjj + ajj cii ).

2

<(bii bjj )

i>j

i>j

i6=j

A B

is positive-semidefinite, A and C

B C

are also positive-semidefinite. Further, the principal subdeterminants of X,

especially the 2 2 subdeterminants are non-negative (see [3]) thus aii cii

|bii |2 for i = 1, . . . , n. Therefore, by the inequality of the arithmetic and

geometric means we obtain

q

aii cjj + ajj cii 2 aii cii ajj cjj 2 |bii |2 |bjj |2 2<(bii bjj )

Since the block matrix X =

3. The case of equality

If n = 1, there holds equality. Suppose that n 2 and A is diagonal.

From the above arguments it follows that in the case of equality the following

conditions must hold for i, j = 1, . . . , n, i 6= j:

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

aii cii |bii |2 and aii cii ajj cjj = |bii |2 |bjj |2 ;

aii cjj = ajj cii ;

bij = 0;

|bii bjj | = <(bii bjj ).

Clearly, (iii) implies that B is diagonal. Further, (iv) means that the numbers bii have the same argument.

If aii cii > |bii |2 for some i, then by (i), ajj cjj = |bjj |2 = 0 for all j 6= i.

So by (ii), ajj = cjj = 0 and also bjj = 0 for j 6= i. But C must be positivesemidefinite thus cii cjj |cij |2 (j 6= i) so C should also be diagonal with at

most one non-zero diagonal

entry,

similarly to A and B. This means that

aii bii

is positive-definite and Z is diagonal with

X = Y Z where Y =

bii cii

one non-zero entry, zii = 1.

Now assume that aii cii = |bii |2 for all i Since X is positive-semidefinite,

the following 3 3 subdeterminant should be non-negative:

aii 0 bii

0 cjj cji = aii cii |bii |2 cij aii |cij |2 = aij |cij |2 .

bii cji cii

We have two cases. If A = 0, then B = 0 and C is anarbitrary positive0 0

semidefinite matrix thus X = Y Z where Y =

. Otherwise cij =

0 1

0 (j 6= i) when aii 6= 0. Moreover, by (ii), cii = 0 when aii = 0 and

thus by the positive-semidefiniteness of C, cij = 0 (j 6= i). So C is also

diagonal, proportional to A and therefore by (iv), B = A, C

= ||2 A for

1

some constant C. Thus X = Y A where Y =

. Then X

||2

is positive-semidefinite since it is the tensor product of positive-semidefinite

matrices.

In the general case, if A is not diagonal, then we might consider

U AU U BU

X=

.

U B U U CU

= Y Z thus

In the case of equality X

)

X = (I U )(Y Z)(I

U ) = Y (U ZU

= rank Z.

where rank U ZU

References

[1] K. Audenaert, Subadditivity of q-entropies for q > 1, J. Math. Phys., 48, 083507

(2007).

[2] R. Bhatia, Partial traces and entropy inequalities, Linear Algebra Appl., 375 (2003),

211220.

[3] R. A. Horn, Ch. R. Johnson, Matrix Analysis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990.

a

m Besenyei

Ad

tvo

s Lora

nd University, H-1117 Budapest,

Department of Applied Analysis, Eo

zma

ny P. se

ta

ny 1/C, Hungary

Pa

E-mail address: badam@cs.elte.hu

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