Wednesday, December 20 2017
15:30 - 16:30

Alladi Ramakrishnan Hall

From statistical proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem to noise-robust noncontextuality inequalities

Ravi Kunjwal

Perimeter Institute, Canada

The Kochen-Specker theorem rules out models of quantum theory wherein sharp measurements are assigned outcomes deterministically and independently of context. This notion of noncontextuality is not applicable to experimental measurements because these are never free of noise and thus never truly sharp. For unsharp measurements, therefore, one must drop the requirement that an outcome is assigned deterministically in the model and merely require that the distribution over outcomes that is assigned in the model is context-independent. By demanding context-independence in the representation of preparations as well, one obtains a generalized principle of noncontextuality that also supports a quantum no-go theorem. Several recent works have shown how to derive inequalities on experimental data which, if violated, demonstrate the impossibility of finding a generalized-noncontextual model of this data. That is, these inequalities do not presume quantum theory and, in particular, they make sense without requiring a notion of "sharpness" of measurements in any operational theory describing the experiment. We here describe a technique for deriving such inequalities starting from arbitrary proofs of the Kochen-Specker theorem. It extends significantly previous techniques, which worked only for logical proofs (based on uncolourable orthogonality graphs), to the case of statistical proofs (where the graphs are colourable, but the colourings cannot explain the quantum statistics). The derived inequalities are robust to noise.


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