On Uffink's alternative interpretation of protective measurements

Abstract

Protective measurement is a new measuring method introduced by Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman. By a protective measurement, one can measure the expectation value of an observable on a single quantum system, even if the system is initially not in an eigenstate of the measured observable. This remarkable feature of protective measurements was challenged by Uffink. He argued that only observables that commute with the system's Hamiltonian can be protectively measured, and a protective measurement of an observable that does not commute with the system's Hamiltonian does not actually measure the observable, but measure another related observable that commutes with the system's Hamiltonian. In this paper, we show that there are several errors in Uffink's arguments, and his alternative interpretation of protective measurements is untenable.

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