Experimental violation and reformulation of the Heisenberg's error-disturbance uncertainty relation

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The uncertainty principle formulated by Heisenberg in 1927 describes a trade-off between the error of a measurement of one observable and the disturbance caused on another complementary observable such that their product should be no less than the limit set by Planck's constant. However, Ozawa in 1988 showed a model of position measurement that breaks Heisenberg's relation and in 2003 revealed an alternative relation for error and disturbance to be proven universally valid. Here, we report an experimental test of Ozawa's relation for a single-photon polarization qubit, exploiting a more general class of quantum measurements than the class of projective measurements. The test is carried out by linear optical devices and realizes an indirect measurement model that breaks Heisenberg's relation throughout the range of our experimental parameter and yet validates Ozawa's relation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2221
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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