Unveiling the curtain of superposition: Recent gedanken and laboratory experiments

E. Cohen, A. C. Elitzur

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


What is the true meaning of quantum superposition? Can a particle genuinely reside in several places simultaneously? These questions lie at the heart of this paper which presents an updated survey of some important stages in the evolution of the three-boxes paradox, as well as novel conclusions drawn from it. We begin with the original thought experiment of Aharonov and Vaidman, and proceed to its non-counterfactual version. The latter was recently realized by Okamoto and Takeuchi using a quantum router. We then outline a dynamic version of this experiment, where a particle is shown to "disappear" and "re-appear" during the time evolution of the system. This surprising prediction based on self-cancellation of weak values is directly related to our notion of Quantum Oblivion. Finally, we present the non-counterfactual version of this disappearing-reappearing experiment. Within the near future, this last version of the experiment is likely to be realized in the lab, proving the existence of exotic hitherto unknown forms of superposition. With the aid of Bell's theorem, we prove the inherent nonlocality and nontemporality underlying such pre- and post-selected systems, rendering anomalous weak values ontologically real.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012013
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Workshop on Decoherence, Information, Complexity and Entropy, DICE 2016 - Castiglioncello, Italy
Duration: 12 Sep 201616 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


It is a pleasure to thank Yakir Aharonov for many helpful discussions. E.C. was supported by ERC - AdG NLST.

FundersFunder number
European Research Council


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