When a measurement has limited strength, only partial information, regarding the initial state, is extracted, and, correspondingly, there is a probability to reverse its effect on the system and retrieve the original state. Recently, a clear and direct quantitative description of this complementary relationship, in terms of a tradeoff relation, was developed by Y. K. Cheong and S. W. Lee. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 150402 (2012)]. Here, this tradeoff relation is experimentally verified using polarization-encoded single photons from a quantum dot. Measurement operators representing a complete range, from not affecting the system to a projection to a single polarization state, are realized. In addition, for each measurement operator, an optimal reversal operator is also implemented. The upper bound of the tradeoff relation is mapped to experimental parameters representing the measurement strength. Our results complement the theoretical work and provide a hands-on characterization of general quantum measurements.
2014. Vol. 4, no 5, 021043- p.