Projects per year
Abstract
In standard quantum mechanics, complex numbers are used to describe the wavefunction. Although complex numbers have proven sufficient to predict the results of existing experiments, there is no apparent theoretical reason to choose them over real numbers or generalizations of complex numbers, i.e. hypercomplex numbers. Experiments performed to date have proven that real numbers are insufficient, but whether or not hypercomplex numbers are required remains an open question. Quantum theories based on hypercomplex numbers are one example of a postquantum theory, which must be put on a firm experimental foundation. Here we experimentally probe hypercomplex quantum theories, by studying one of their deviations from complex quantum theory: the noncommutativity of phases. We do so by passing single photons through a Sagnac interferometer containing two physically different phases, having refractive indices of opposite sign. By showing that the phases commute with high precision, we place limits on a particular prediction of hypercomplex quantum theories.
Original language  English 

Publisher  arXiv.org 
Publication status  Published  4 Feb 2016 
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
 103026 Quantum optics
Keywords
 quantph
Projects
 7 Finished

QEncrypt: Quantumenhanced cyber security
Walther, P. & Paulovics, V.
15/10/15 → 31/12/16
Project: Contract research

QUCHIP: Quantum Simulation on a Photonic Chip
Walther, P. & Paulovics, V.
1/03/15 → 28/02/18
Project: Research funding

EQuaM: Emulators of Quantum Frustrated Magnetism
Walther, P. & Paulovics, V.
1/10/13 → 30/06/17
Project: Research funding