Experimental violation of the Leggett-Garg inequality in a three-level system

Hemant Katiyar*, Aharon Brodutch, Dawei Lu, Raymond Laflamme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


The Leggett-Garg (LG) test of macroscopic realism involves a series of dichotomic non-invasive measurements that are used to calculate a function which has a fixed upper bound for a macrorealistic system and a larger upper bound for a quantum system. The quantum upper bound depends on both the details of the measurement and the dimension of the system. Here we present an LG experiment on a three-level quantum system, which produces a larger theoretical quantum upper bound than that of a two-level quantum system. The experiment is carried out in nuclear magnetic resonance and consists of the LG test as well as a test of the ideal assumptions associated with the experiment, such as measurement non-invasiveness. The non-invasive measurements are performed via the modified ideal negative result measurement scheme on a three-level system. Once these assumptions are tested, the violation becomes small, despite the fact that the LG value itself is large. Our results showcase the advantages of using the modified measurement scheme that can reach higher LG values, since these leave a larger margin for violating the inequality in the face of experimental imperfections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023033
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Leggett-Garg inequality
  • foundation of quantum mechanics
  • nuclear magnetic resonance


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