December 2017

Experimental entanglement of temporal order

The study of causal relations has recently been applied to the quantum realm, leading to the discovery that not all physical processes have a definite causal structure. While indefinite causal processes have previously been experimentally shown, these proofs relied on the quantum description of the experiments. Yet, the same experimental data could also be compatible with definite causal structures within different descriptions. Here, we present the first demonstration of indefinite temporal order outside of quantum formalism. We show that our experimental outcomes are incompatible with a class of generalised probabilistic theories satisfying the assumptions of locality and definite temporal order. To this end, we derive physical constraints (in the form of a Bell-like inequality) on experimental outcomes within such a class of theories. We then experimentally invalidate these theories by violating the inequality using entangled temporal order. This provides experimental evidence that there exist correlations in nature which are incompatible with the assumptions of locality and definite temporal order.

Simulating indefinite causal order with Rindler observers

Realization of indefinite causal order (ICO), a theoretical possibility that even causal relations between physical events can be subjected to quantum superposition, apart from its general significance for the fundamental physics research, would also enable quantum information processing that outperforms protocols in which the underlying causal structure is definite. In this paper, we start with a proposition that an observer in a state of quantum superposition of being at two different relative distances from the event horizon of a black hole, effectively resides in ICO space-time generated by the black hole. By invoking the fact that the near-horizon geometry of a Schwarzschild black hole is that of a Rindler space-time, we propose a way to simulate an observer in ICO space-time by a Rindler observer in a state of superposition of having two different proper accelerations. By extension, a pair of Rindler observers with entangled proper accelerations simulates a pair of entangled ICO observers. Moreover, these Rindler-systems might have a plausible experimental realization by means of optomechanical resonators.