Opening up three quantum boxes causes classically undetectable wavefunction collapse

George, Richard and Robledo, Lucio and Maroney, Owen and Blok, Machiel and Bernien, Hannes and Markham, Matthew and Twitchen, Daniel and Morton, John and Briggs, Andrew and Hanson, Ronald (2013) Opening up three quantum boxes causes classically undetectable wavefunction collapse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (10). pp. 3777-3781. ISSN 0027-8424

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One of the most striking features of quantum mechanics is the profound effect exerted by measurements alone. Sophisticated quantum control is now available in several experimental systems, exposing discrepancies between quantum and classical mechanics whenever measurement induces disturbance of the interrogated system. In practice, such discrepancies may frequently be explained as the back-action required by quantum mechanics adding quantum noise to a classical signal. Here, we implement the “three-box” quantum game [Aharonov Y, et al. (1991) J Phys A Math Gen 24(10):2315–2328] by using state-of-the-art control and measurement of the nitrogen vacancy center in diamond. In this protocol, the back-action of quantum measurements adds no detectable disturbance to the classical description of the game. Quantum and classical mechanics then make contradictory predictions for the same experimental procedure; however, classical observers are unable to invoke measurement-induced disturbance to explain the discrepancy. We quantify the residual disturbance of our measurements and obtain data that rule out any classical model by ≳7.8 standard deviations, allowing us to exclude the property of macroscopic state definiteness from our system. Our experiment is then equivalent to the test of quantum noncontextuality [Kochen S, Specker E (1967) J Math Mech 17(1):59–87] that successfully addresses the measurement detectability loophole.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: Freely available online through the PNAS open access option
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1000
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Physics
ID Code: 67338
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 30 Oct 2013 15:04
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2020 02:04

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