Realization of a measurement of a ‘‘weak value’’
Hulet, Randall G.
We present the first realization of a measurement of a ‘‘weak value,’’ a concept recently introduced by Aharonov, Albert, and Vaidman (AAV). Our experiment uses a birefringent crystal to separate the two linear-polarization components of a laser beam by a distance small compared to the laser-beam waist. This ‘‘weak measurement’’ is followed by a strong measurement which translates the centroid of the beam by a distance far larger than the birefringence-induced separation. In addition, we present data corresponding to orthogonal initial and final states, for which the weak value is not defined. This interference effect may have application in the amplification and detection of weak effects.