Physical Review A, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol:64 issue:1 pages:012316
We consider mixed states of two qubits and show under which global unitary operations their entanglement is maximized. This leads to a class of states that is a generalization of the Bell states. Three measures of entanglement are considered: entanglement of formation, negativity, and relative entropy of entanglement. Surprisingly all states that maximize one measure also maximize the; others. We give a complete characterization of these generalized Bell states and prove that these states for fixed eigenvalues are all equivalent under local unitary transformations. Furthermore we characterize all nearly entangled states closest to the maximally mixed state and derive a lower bound on the volume of separable mixed states.