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Sci Adv. 2017 May 5;3(5):e1603159. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1603159. eCollection 2017 May.

A twofold quantum delayed-choice experiment in a superconducting circuit.

Author information

1
Center for Quantum Information, Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
2
Fujian Key Laboratory of Quantum Information and Quantum Optics, College of Physics and Information Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350116, China.
3
Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400005, India.
4
Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Abstract

Wave-particle complementarity lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. To illustrate this mysterious feature, Wheeler proposed the delayed-choice experiment, where a quantum system manifests the wave- or particle-like attribute, depending on the experimental arrangement, which is made after the system has entered the interferometer. In recent quantum delayed-choice experiments, these two complementary behaviors were simultaneously observed with a quantum interferometer in a superposition of being closed and open. We suggest and implement a conceptually different quantum delayed-choice experiment by introducing a which-path detector (WPD) that can simultaneously record and neglect the system's path information, but where the interferometer itself is classical. Our experiment is realized with a superconducting circuit, where a cavity acts as the WPD for an interfering qubit. Using this setup, we implement the first twofold delayed-choice experiment, which demonstrates that the system's behavior depends not only on the measuring device's configuration that can be chosen even after the system has been detected but also on whether we a posteriori erase or mark the which-path information, the latter of which cannot be revealed by previous quantum delayed-choice experiments. Our results represent the first demonstration of both counterintuitive features with the same experimental setup, significantly extending the concept of quantum delayed-choice experiment.

KEYWORDS:

Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiment; circuit quantum electrodynamics; quantum coherence; quantum delayed-choice experiment; quantum entanglement; quantum eraser; superconducting qubit; two-fold quantum delayed-choice experiment; wave-particle duality; which path detector

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