I have been studying from many angles the groundbreaking/now renowned Minev et al experiment: To catch and reverse a quantum jump mid-flight [1]. I have many questions on this complex/intricate setup but alas only 1 is allowed per post. So, I found this excellent QTT (quantum trajectory theory) [2] survey by Brun, which is a great place to start/focus: Brun, A simple model of quantum trajectories, arXiv:0108132

Here is my question:

Can someone sketch out how the Minev et al experiment relates to the different sections of the QTT survey paper by Brun; and at the answerer's discretion, some indication of the actual "novelty" of this work considering prior science research in the area and related areas?

Some further background: there's some online controversy, with some people are saying that the experiment does not really break new ground because it's essentially combinations of prior work and findings such as Zeno + weak measurements, quantum tomography, etc., and I am wondering if possibly the experimenters did not make the full extent of the novelty of their contributions clear. I may also ask some follow up question(s) based on responses to this one.

Also note that some attention was added recently with this PBS spacetime episode narrated by Matt O'Dowd, Ph.D. I invite further discussion in The h Bar chat for those interested. There is far more to say from my own investigation but I am holding off here for now.

  • $\begingroup$ I will only make a short comment. I must say that I was flabbergasted by the attention this has received. While it is certainly is an important and admirable technological step to the extent that the control of a quantum system goes, insofar as the theory and the interpretation of QM goes there is nothing in there that (I would think, most of) physicists hadn't already known. I remember spending time reading thru the papers -- including some preceding works and experiments that provided the foundation for this -- trying to understand if I missed something. $\endgroup$ Feb 16 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ The only conclusion I was able to arrive at is that the experimental results illustrate the (fine-grained) conditional tomography of the standard QM dynamic. It certainly and definitely does not reveal anything about quantum measurement or the wave function "collapse." $\endgroup$ Feb 16 at 21:02


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.