By Webb J W, Puthoor I V, Ho J, Crickmore J, Blakely E, Fedrizzi A, Andersson E.
Submitted to arXiv on 30 June 2022.
A core principle of quantum theory is that non-orthogonal quantum states cannot be perfectly distinguished with single-shot measurements. However, it is possible to exclude a subset of non-orthogonal states without error in certain circumstances. Here we implement a quantum state elimination measurement which unambiguously rules out two of four pure, non-orthogonal quantum states — ideally without error and with unit success probability. This is a generalised quantum measurement with six outcomes, where each outcome corresponds to excluding a pair of states. Our experimental realisation uses single photons, with information encoded in a four-dimensional state using optical path and polarisation degrees of freedom. The prepared state is incorrectly ruled out up to 3.3(2)% of the time.