Experimental test of entangled histories

Jordan Cotler, Lu Ming Duan, Pan Yu Hou, Frank Wilczek, Da Xu, Zhang Qi Yin, Chong Zu

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    9 Scopus citations


    Entangled histories arise when a system partially decoheres in such a way that its past cannot be described by a sequence of states, but rather a superposition of sequences of states. Such entangled histories have not been previously observed. We propose and demonstrate the first experimental scheme to create entangled history states of the Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) type. In our experiment, the polarization states of a single photon at three different times are prepared as a GHZ entangled history state. We define a GHZ functional which attains a maximum value 1 on the ideal GHZ entangled history state and is bounded above by 1∕16 for any three-time history state lacking tripartite entanglement. We have measured the GHZ functional on a state we have prepared experimentally, yielding a value of 0.656±0.005, clearly demonstrating the contribution of entangled histories.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)334-347
    Number of pages14
    JournalAnnals of Physics
    StatePublished - Dec 2017


    • Consistent histories
    • Many worlds
    • Temporal entanglement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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