I'm reading the paper Implementation of the Quantum Fourier Transform. On page 4, they write

To a first approximation, decoherence during the course of the QFT attenuates the entire density matrix. This is shown in figure 2.

I know that the word "attenuate" means to dampen or reduce the force of something. Since density operators have trace one, perhaps this means that the QFT decreases the trace of the density operator.

My question is: What is meant by attenuate here?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'd guess what is meant is that decoherence decreases the off-diagonal elements of the density matrix. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2020 at 14:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ And please link to the abstract rather than the PDF - this is extremely annoying if one is just interested in knowing what paper that is. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2020 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ +1 but I've reduced it to one question since we have a policy to ask only one question per post. You can ask another question or edit the question to switch to the other question if you want. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2021 at 22:54


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