Macroscopic realism is the name for a class of modifications to quantum theory that allow macroscopic objects to be described in a measurement-independent manner, while largely preserving a fully quantum mechanical description of the microscopic world. Objective collapse theories are examples which aim to solve the quantum measurement problem through modified dynamical laws. Whether such theories describe nature, however, is not known. Here we describe and implement an experimental protocol capable of constraining theories of this class, that is more noise tolerant and conceptually transparent than the original Leggett-Garg test. We implement the protocol in a superconducting flux qubit, and rule out (by ∼ 84 s.d.) those theories which would deny coherent superpositions of 170 nA currents over a ∼ 10 ns timescale. Further, we address the 'clumsiness loophole' by determining classical disturbance with control experiments. Our results constitute strong evidence for the superposition of states of nontrivial macroscopic distinctness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy