Homodyne monitoring of postselected decay
AbstractWe use homodyne detection to monitor the radiative decay of a superconducting qubit. According to the classical theory of conditional probabilities, the excited-state population differs from an exponential decay law if it is conditioned upon a later projective qubit measurement. Quantum trajectory theory accounts for the expectation values of general observables, and we use experimental data to show how a homodyne detection signal is conditioned upon both the initial state and the finally projected state of a decaying qubit. We observe, in particular, how anomalous weak values occur in continuous weak measurement for certain pre- and postselected states. Subject to homodyne detection, the density matrix evolves in a stochastic manner, but it is restricted to a specific surface in the Bloch sphere. We show that a similar restriction applies to the information associated with the postselection, and thus bounds the predictions of the theory.