Witnessing quantum coherence: From solid-state to biological systems

Che Ming Li, Neill Lambert, Yueh Nan Chen, Guang Yin Chen, Franco Nori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum coherence is one of the primary non-classical features of quantum systems. While protocols such as the Leggett-Garg inequality (LGI) and quantum tomography can be used to test for the existence of quantum coherence and dynamics in a given system, unambiguously detecting inherent quantumness still faces serious obstacles in terms of experimental feasibility and efficiency, particularly in complex systems. Here we introduce two quantum witnesses to efficiently verify quantum coherence and dynamics in the time domain, without the expense and burden of non-invasive measurements or full tomographic processes. Using several physical examples, including quantum transport in solid-state nanostructures and in biological organisms, we show that these quantum witnesses are robust and have a much finer resolution in their detection window than the LGI has. These robust quantum indicators may assist in reducing the experimental overhead in unambiguously verifying quantum coherence in complex systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number885
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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