Research ArticlePHYSICS

Self-testing nonprojective quantum measurements in prepare-and-measure experiments

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Science Advances  17 Apr 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 16, eaaw6664
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw6664


Self-testing represents the strongest form of certification of a quantum system. Here, we theoretically and experimentally investigate self-testing of nonprojective quantum measurements. That is, how can one certify, from observed data only, that an uncharacterized measurement device implements a desired nonprojective positive-operator valued measure (POVM). We consider a prepare-and-measure scenario with a bound on the Hilbert space dimension and develop methods for (i) robustly self-testing extremal qubit POVMs and (ii) certifying that an uncharacterized qubit measurement is nonprojective. Our methods are robust to noise and thus applicable in practice, as we demonstrate in a photonic experiment. Specifically, we show that our experimental data imply that the implemented measurements are very close to certain ideal three- and four-outcome qubit POVMs and hence non-projective. In the latter case, the data certify a genuine four-outcome qubit POVM. Our results open interesting perspective for semi–device-independent certification of quantum devices.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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