Quantum entanglement is notorious for being a very fragile resource. Significant efforts have been put into the study of entanglement degradation in the presence of a realistic noisy environment. Here, we present a theoretical and an experimental study of the decoherence properties of entangled pairs of qubits. The entanglement dynamics of maximally entangled qubit pairs is shown to be related in a simple way to the noise representation in the Bloch sphere picture. We derive the entanglement level in the case when both qubits of a Bell state are transmitted through any arbitrary unital Pauli channel, and compare it to the case when the channel is applied only to one of the qubits. The dynamics of both cases was verified experimentally using an all-optical setup. We further investigated the evolution of partially entangled initial states. Different dynamics was observed for initial mixed and pure states of the same entanglement level.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology for financial support. We also thank the Israeli Science Foundation for supporting this work under grant 793/13.