Observation of one-way Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen steering



The distinctive non-classical features of quantum physics were first discussed in the seminal paper1 by A. Einstein, B. Podolsky and N. Rosen (EPR) in 1935. In his immediate response2, E. Schrödinger introduced the notion of entanglement, now seen as the essential resource in quantum information3,4,5 as well as in quantum metrology6,7,8. Furthermore, he showed that at the core of the EPR argument is a phenomenon that he called steering. In contrast to entanglement and violations of Bell's inequalities, steering implies a direction between the parties involved. Recent theoretical works have precisely defined this property, but the question arose as to whether there are bipartite states showing steering only in one direction9,10. Here, we present an experimental realization of two entangled Gaussian modes of light that in fact shows the steering effect in one direction but not in the other. The generated one-way steering gives a new insight into quantum physics and may open a new field of applications in quantum information.

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Figure 1: Implications of inseparability criteria.
Figure 2: Gaussian one-way EPR steering visualized in phase space.
Figure 3: Schematic of the experimental set-up.
Figure 4: Certification of one-way steering.


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The authors thank J. Duhme for helpful discussions. This research was supported by EU FP 7 project QESSENCE (grant agreement no. 248095). V.H., T.E., S.S. and A.S. acknowledge support from the IMPRS on Gravitational Wave Astronomy. T.F. and R.F.W. acknowledge support from EU FP 7 project COQUIT (grant agreement no. 233747) and BMBF project QuoRep.

Author information

V.H., T.E. and R.S. conceived the experiment. V.H. and T.E. conducted the experiment and performed all measurements with the help of S.S. and A.S. and under the supervision of R.S. Theoretical analysis was carried out by T.F. with supervision from R.F.W.

Correspondence to Roman Schnabel.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Händchen, V., Eberle, T., Steinlechner, S. et al. Observation of one-way Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen steering. Nature Photon 6, 596–599 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2012.202

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