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Size of quantum superpositions as measured with classical detectors

Sekatski, Pavel and Sangouard, Nicolas and Gisin, Nicolas. (2014) Size of quantum superpositions as measured with classical detectors. Phys. Rev. A, 89. 012116.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/51225/

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Abstract

We propose a criterion which defines whether a superposition of two photonic components is macroscopic. It is based on the ability to discriminate these components with a particular class of “classical” detectors, namely, a photon number measurement with a resolution coarse-grained by noise. We show how our criterion can be extended to a measure of the size of macroscopic superpositions by quantifying the amount of noise that can be tolerated and taking the distinctness of two Fock states differing by N photons as a reference. After applying our measure to several well-known examples, we demonstrate that the superpositions which meet our criterion are very sensitive to phase fluctuations. This suggests that quantifying the macroscopicity of a superposition state through the distinguishability of its components with “classical” detectors not only is a natural measure but also explains why it is difficult to observe superpositions at the macroscopic scale.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Physik > Quantum Physics (Sangouard)
UniBasel Contributors:Sangouard, Nicolas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:2469-9926
e-ISSN:2469-9934
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:13 Feb 2017 12:48
Deposited On:13 Feb 2017 12:48

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