Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

Journal | New Journal of Physics |
---|---|

Date | Accepted/In press - 7 Dec 2015 |

Date | Published (current) - 23 Dec 2015 |

Issue number | 1 |

Volume | 18 |

Number of pages | 10 |

Original language | English |

A century after the development of quantum theory, the interpretation of a quantum state is still discussed. If a physicist claims to have produced a system with a particular quantum state vector, does this represent directly a physical property of the system, or is the state vector merely a summary of the physicist's information about the system? Assume that a state vector corresponds to a probability distribution over possible values of an unknown physical or 'ontic' state. Then, a recent no-go theorem shows that distinct state vectors with overlapping distributions lead to predictions different from quantum theory. We report an experimental test of these predictions using trapped ions. Within experimental error, the results confirm quantum theory. We analyse which kinds of models are ruled out.

© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

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