Classical realism demands that system properties exist independently of whether they are measured, while noncontextuality demands that the results of measurements do not depend on what other measurements are performed in conjunction with them. The Bell–Kochen–Specker theorem states that noncontextual realism cannot reproduce the measurement statistics of a single three-level quantum system (qutrit). Noncontextual realistic models may thus be tested using a single qutrit without relying on the notion of quantum entanglement in contrast to Bell inequality tests. It is challenging to refute such models experimentally, since imperfections may introduce loopholes that enable a realist interpretation. Here we use a superconducting qutrit with deterministic, binary-outcome readouts to violate a noncontextuality inequality while addressing the detection, individual-existence and compatibility loopholes. This evidence of state-dependent contextuality also demonstrates the fitness of superconducting quantum circuits for fault-tolerant quantum computation in surface-code architectures, currently the most promising route to scalable quantum computing.
- Quantum information
- Superconducting devices