Despite being very influential on both foundations and applications of quantum mechanics, weak values are still somewhat controversial. Although there are some indications that weak values are physical properties of a single quantum system, the common way weak values are presented is statistical: it is commonly believed that for measuring weak values one has to perform many weak measurements over a large ensemble of pre- and postselected particles. Other debates surround the anomalous nature of weak value and even their quantumness. To address these issues, we present some preliminary data showing that anomalous weak values can be measured using just a single detection, i.e. with no statistics. In our experiment, a single click of a detector indicates the weak value as a single photon property, which moreover lies well beyond the range of eigenvelues of the measured operator. Importantly, the uncertainty with which the weak values is measured is smaller than the difference between the weak value and the closet eigenvalue. This is the first experimental realization of robust weak measurements.
Weak value measurements have been a real breakthrough in the quantum measurement framework. In particular, quantum measurements may take advantage by anomalous weak values, i.e. values out of the eigenvalues spectrum of the measured observable, both for implementing new measurement techniques and studying Quantum Mechanics foundations. In this report we show three experiments with single photons presenting anomalous weak values: the first one tests the incompatibility between quantum mechanics and noncontextual hidden variables theories, the second one is the first realization of a sequential weak value evaluation of two incompatible observables on the same photon, and the last one shows how sequential weak values can be used to test Leggett-Garg inequalities extended to multiple-measurements scenarios.
In quantum mechanics, the eigenvalues and their corresponding probabilities specify the expectation value of a physical observable, which is known to be a statistical property related to large ensembles of particles. In contrast to this paradigm, we demonstrate a unique method allowing to extract the expectation value of a single particle, namely, the polarisation of a single protected photon, with a single experiment. This is the first realisation of quantum protective measurements.