November 24, 2016
What can be said about the value of an observable during the time interval between two measurements ? A possible answer to this question has been given by Aharonov, Albert and Vaidman (AAV) in 1988. In their seminal paper “a new kind of value for a quantum variable” the so-called weak value is introduced, again demonstrating that quantum mechanics predicts striking and astonishing counter-intuitive phenomena. The weak value is obtain via a procedure, referred to as weak measurement, where the probed quantum system is left minimally disturbed and pursues its evolution from an initial state towards its final state. The weak value of a variable may differ significantly from the eigenvalues of an associated operator in that sense, that weak values may lie far outside the eigenvalue range of the operator.
January 7, 2017
We developed a measurement scheme, used in a matter-wave interferometric experiment, in which the neutron path system’s quantum state was characterized via direct measurements using both strong and weak interactions. Experimental evidence is given that strong interactions outperform weak ones for tomographic accuracy. Our results are not limited to neutron interferometry, but can be used in a wide range of quantum systems.
November 25, 2016
A straightforward implementation of weak measurements for massive particles, as originally proposed by Yakir Aharonov, is not feasible, due to the tiny coherence volume of particles used in matter-wave optics. We have overcome this hurdle by developing a method to weakly measure a massive particle’s spin component. This is achieved in a neutron optical approach by utilizing neutron interferometry, where the neutron’s spin is coupled weakly to its spatial degree of freedom.
December 21, 2014
The Cheshire Cat featured in Lewis Caroll’s novel “Alice in Wonderland” is a remarkable creature: it disappears, leaving its grin behind. Can an object be separated from its properties? It is possible in the quantum world. In our experiment, neutrons travel along a different path than one of their properties – their magnetic moment. This is the “Quantum Cheshire Cat”.