Physical Review A, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol:65 pages:032308
All mixed states of two qubits can be brought into normal form by the action of local operations and classical communication operations of the kind rho'=(AxB) rho(AxB)dagger. These normal forms can be obtained by considering a Lorentz singular-value decomposition on a real parametrization of the density matrix. We show that the Lorentz singular values are variationally defined and give rise to entanglement monotones, with as a special case the concurrence. Next a necessary and sufficient criterion is conjectured for a mixed state to be convertible into another specific one with a nonzero probability. Finally the formalism of the Lorentz singular-value decomposition is applied to tripartite pure states of qubits. New proofs are given for the existence of the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) class and W class of states, and a rigorous proof for the optimal distillation of a GHZ state is derived.