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Atomic "bomb testing": The Elitzur-Vaidman experiment violates the Leggett-Garg inequality

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clive Emary


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© The Author(s) 2018. Elitzur and Vaidman have proposed a measurement scheme that, based on the quantum superposition principle, allows one to detect the presence of an object-in a dramatic scenario, a bomb-without interacting with it. It was pointed out by Ghirardi that this interaction-free measurement scheme can be put in direct relation with falsification tests of the macro-realistic worldview. Here we have implemented the "bomb test" with a single atom trapped in a spin-dependent optical lattice to show explicitly a violation of the Leggett-Garg inequality-a quantitative criterion fulfilled by macro-realistic physical theories. To perform interaction-free measurements, we have implemented a novel measurement method that correlates spin and position of the atom. This method, which quantum mechanically entangles spin and position, finds general application for spin measurements, thereby avoiding the shortcomings inherent in the widely used push-out technique. Allowing decoherence to dominate the evolution of our system causes a transition from quantum to classical behavior in fulfillment of the Leggett-Garg inequality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robens C, Alt W, Emary C, Meschede D, Alberti A

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Exploring the World with the Laser: Dedicated to Theodor Hänsch on his 75th Birthday

Year: 2018

Pages: 141-157

Online publication date: 03/01/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-64346-5_10

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783319643465