Experimental entanglement of temporal order

Giulia Rubino, Lee A. Rozema, Francesco Massa, Mateus Araújo, Magdalena Zych, Časlav Brukner, Philip Walther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


The study of causal relations has recently been applied to the quantum realm, leading to the discovery that not all physical processes have a definite causal structure. While indefinite causal processes have previously been experimentally shown, these proofs relied on the quantum description of the experiments. Yet, the same experimental data could also be compatible with definite causal structures within different descriptions. Here, we present the first demonstration of indefinite temporal order outside of quantum formalism. We show that our experimental outcomes are incompatible with a class of generalised probabilistic theories satisfying the assumptions of locality and definite temporal order. To this end, we derive physical constraints (in the form of a Bell-like inequality) on experimental outcomes within such a class of theories. We then experimentally invalidate these theories by violating the inequality using entangled temporal order. This provides experimental evidence that there exist correlations in nature which are incompatible with the assumptions of locality and definite temporal order.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

29 pages, 8 figures


  • quant-ph

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