Quantum Optics INRIM

Measurement Paradigms in Quantum Mechanics

Measurements represent a fundamental aspect in any field of physics. Their role is even more relevant in quantum mechanics, because they engrave directly on the theory foundational aspect. The meaning, capability and limits of quantum measurements are currently a hot-debated topic, representing a lively theoretical and experimental research field.

In our laboratories, we develop, implement and study novel quantum measurement paradigms, with the goal to overcome the usual limits of classical as well as quantum measurements, demonstrating unprecedented measurement capability allowing for several multidisciplinary applications.

Furthermore, we exploit these innovative measurement paradigms for fundamental research, investigating the very foundations of quantum mechanics. As an example, we realised many experimental works on weak-interaction-based measurements (a completely new approach with respect to traditional “strong” quantum measurements), e.g.: the measurement of non-commuting observables on the same quantum state, by exploiting sequential weak measurements; the first realisation of protective measurements, able to extract the average value of a quantity from a single particle; experimental tests on the link between weak values and foundational aspects, like contextuality and macroscopic realism. We also performed several experiments in the framework of quantum state estimation, a key factor for quantum technologies.

Recent highlights

Most relevant pubblications

  • S. Virzì et al. "Optimal estimation of entanglement and discord in two-qubit states" Scientific Reports 9 (1), 1-9 (2019)

  • F. Piacentini et al. "Investigating the effects of the interaction intensity in a weak measurement" Scientific reports 8 (1), 1-7 (2018)

  • F. Piacentini et al. "Determining the quantum expectation value by measuring a single photon" Nature Physics 13 (12), 1191-1194 (2017)

  • A. Avella et al. "Anomalous weak values and the violation of a multiple-measurement leggett-garg inequality" Physical Review A 96 (5), 052123 (2017).

  • F. Piacentini et al. "Measuring incompatible observables by exploiting sequential weak values" Physical review letters 117 (17), 170402 (2016).

  • F. Piacentini et al. "Experiment investigating the connection between weak values and contextuality" Physical Review Letters 116 (18), 180401 (2016).