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Certifying Nonclassical Behavior for Negative Keldysh Quasiprobabilities

  • Patrick P. Potts
Publishing year: 2019-03-18
Language: English
Publication/Series: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 122
Issue: 11
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Physical Society

Abstract english

We introduce an experimental test for ruling out classical explanations for the statistics obtained when measuring arbitrary observables at arbitrary times using individual detectors. This test requires some trust in the measurements, represented by a few natural assumptions on the detectors. In quantum theory, the considered scenarios are well captured by von Neumann measurements. These can be described naturally in terms of the Keldysh quasiprobability distribution (KQPD), and the imprecision and backaction exerted by the measurement apparatus. We find that classical descriptions can be ruled out from measured data if and only if the KQPD exhibits negative values. We provide examples based on simulated data, considering the influence of a finite amount of statistics. In addition to providing an experimental tool for certifying nonclassicality, our results bestow an operational meaning upon the nonclassical nature of negative quasiprobability distributions such as the Wigner function and the full counting statistics.


  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


  • ISSN: 0031-9007
Portrait of Patrick Potts
E-mail: patrick [dot] potts [at] teorfys [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Mathematical Physics


Postdoctoral fellow