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PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE

Pirsa: 16060051 - The meaning of weak values

Speaker(s):

Lev Vaidman

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Abstract:

The weak value, as an expectation value, requires an ensemble to be found. Nevertheless, we argue that the physical meaning of the weak value is much more close to the physical meaning of an eigenvalue than to the physical meaning of an expectation value. Theoretical analysis and experimental results performed in the MPQ laboratory of Harald Weinfurter are presented. Quantum systems described by numerically equal eigenvalue, weak value and expectation value cause identical average shift of an external system interacting with them during an infinitesimal time. However, there are differences between the final states of the external system. In the case of an eigenvalue, the shift is the only change in the wavefunction of the external system. In case of the expectation value, there is an additional change in the quantum state of the same order, while in the case of the weak value the additional distortion is negligible. The understanding of weak value as a property of a single system refutes recent claims that there exist classical statistical analogue to the weak value.
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