Quantum interference in the presence of a resonant medium.
ABSTRACT: Interaction of light with media often occurs with a femtosecond response time. Its measurement by conventional techniques requires the use of femtosecond lasers and sophisticated time-gated optical detection. Here we demonstrate that by exploiting quantum interference of entangled photons it is possible to measure the dephasing time of a resonant media on the femtosecond time scale (down to 100?fs) using accessible continuous wave laser and single-photon counting. We insert a sample in the Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer and observe the modification of the two-photon interference pattern, which is driven by the coherent response of the medium, determined by the dephasing time. The dephasing time is then inferred from the observed pattern. This effect is distinctively different from the basic effect of spectral filtering, which was studied in earlier works. In addition to its ease of use, our technique does not require compensation of group velocity dispersion and does not induce photo-damage of the samples. Our technique will be useful for characterization of ultrafast phase relaxation processes in material science, chemistry, and biology.
Project description:Superposition and indistinguishablility between probability amplitudes have played an essential role in observing quantum interference effects of correlated photons. The Hong-Ou-Mandel interference and interferences of the path-entangled photon number state are of special interest in the field of quantum information technologies. However, a fully generalized two-photon quantum interferometric scheme accounting for the Hong-Ou-Mandel scheme and path-entangled photon number states has not yet been proposed. Here we report the experimental demonstrations of the generalized two-photon interferometry with both the interferometric properties of the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect and the fully unfolded version of the path-entangled photon number state using photon-pair sources, which are independently generated by spontaneous parametric down-conversion. Our experimental scheme explains two-photon interference fringes revealing single- and two-photon coherence properties in a single interferometer setup. Using the proposed interferometric measurement, it is possible to directly estimate the joint spectral intensity of a photon pair source.
Project description:Quantum interference, like Hong-Ou-Mandel interference, has played an important role to test fundamental concepts in quantum physics. We experimentally show that the multiple quantum interference effects enable the generation of high-performance polarization entangled photons. These photons have a high-emission rate, are degenerate, have a broadband distribution, and are postselection free. A quantum interferometric scheme, based on a round-trip configuration of a double-pass polarization Sagnac interferometer, makes it possible to use the large generation efficiency of polarization entangled photons in the process of parametric down-conversion and to separate degenerate photon pairs into different optical modes with no requirement of postselection. We demonstrate experimentally that multiple quantum interference is not only an interesting fundamental quantum optical phenomenon but can be used for novel photonic quantum information technologies.
Project description:The Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) effect is widely regarded as the quintessential quantum interference phenomenon in optics. In this work we examine how nonlinearity can smear statistical photon bunching in the HOM interferometer. We model both the nonlinearity and a balanced beam splitter with a single two-level system and calculate a finite probability of anti-bunching arising in this geometry. We thus argue that the presence of such nonlinearity would reduce the visibility in the standard HOM setup, offering some explanation for the diminution of the HOM visibility observed in many experiments. We use the same model to show that the nonlinearity affects a resonant two-photon propagation through a two-level impurity in a waveguide due to a "weak photon blockade" caused by the impossibility of double-occupancy and argue that this effect might be stronger for multi-photon propagation.
Project description:When two indistinguishable photons are each incident on separate input ports of a beamsplitter, they "bunch" deterministically, exiting via the same port as a direct consequence of their bosonic nature. This two-photon interference effect has long-held the potential for application in precision measurement of time delays, such as those induced by transparent specimens with unknown thickness profiles. However, the technique has never achieved resolutions significantly better than the few-femtosecond (micrometer) scale other than in a common-path geometry that severely limits applications. We develop the precision of Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometry toward the ultimate limits dictated by statistical estimation theory, achieving few-attosecond (or nanometer path length) scale resolutions in a dual-arm geometry, thus providing access to length scales pertinent to cell biology and monoatomic layer two-dimensional materials.
Project description:Photon-based quantum information processing is based on manipulating multi photon interference. We focus on the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) dip in the photon coincidence rate which provides a direct measure of interference of indistinguishable photons linked to their Bose statistics. The effect has been first observed with entangled photons generated by parametric down conversion and then extended to independent emitters. Fluctuations caused by coupling between emitters and a bath can erode the interference which causes the dip. Here we show how the magnitude and shape of the HOM dip is affected by spectral diffusion induced by coupling to a brownian oscillator bath. Conditions for maintaining and controlling the interference are specified.
Project description:A modification of the standard Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer is proposed which allows one to replicate the celebrated coincidence dip in the case of two-independent delay parameters. In the ideal case where such delays are sufficiently stable with respect to the mean wavelength of the pump source, properly symmetrized input bi-photon states allow one to pinpoint their values through the identification of a zero in the coincidence counts, a feature that cannot be simulated by semiclassical inputs having the same spectral properties. Besides, in the presence of fluctuating parameters the zero in the coincidences is washed away: still the bi-photon state permits to recover the values of parameters with a visibility which is higher than the one allowed by semiclassical sources. The detrimental role of loss and dispersion is also analyzed and an application in the context of quantum positioning is presented.
Project description:Properties of intense twin beams generated in parametric down-conversion in periodically poled LiNbO3 crystals and their chirped variants by intense pump fields are analyzed along the model of intense parametric down-conversion that allows for pump depletion and uses the dual spatio-spectral Schmidt modes. Spectral and spatial intensity auto- and cross-correlation functions are determined as they depend on the pump power. Temporal correlations in intense twin beams at the fs time scale are investigated using the Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer and the process of sum-frequency generation.
Project description:A fundamental element of quantum information processing with photonic qubits is the nonclassical quantum interference between two photons when they bunch together via the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) effect. Ultimately, many such photons must be processed in complex interferometric networks. For this purpose, it is essential to synchronize the arrival times of the flying photons and to keep their purities high. On the basis of the recent experimental success of single-photon storage with high purity, we demonstrate for the first time the HOM interference of two heralded, nearly pure optical photons synchronized through two independent quantum memories. Controlled storage times of up to 1.8 ?s for about 90 events per second were achieved with purities that were sufficiently high for a negative Wigner function confirmed with homodyne measurements.
Project description:It is a fundamental challenge in quantum optics to deterministically generate indistinguishable single photons through non-deterministic nonlinear optical processes, due to the intrinsic coupling of single- and multi-photon-generation probabilities in these processes. Actively multiplexing photons generated in many temporal modes can decouple these probabilities, but key issues are to minimize resource requirements to allow scalability, and to ensure indistinguishability of the generated photons. Here we demonstrate the multiplexing of photons from four temporal modes solely using fibre-integrated optics and off-the-shelf electronic components. We show a 100% enhancement to the single-photon output probability without introducing additional multi-photon noise. Photon indistinguishability is confirmed by a fourfold Hong-Ou-Mandel quantum interference with a 91 ± 16% visibility after subtracting multi-photon noise due to high pump power. Our demonstration paves the way for scalable multiplexing of many non-deterministic photon sources to a single near-deterministic source, which will be of benefit to future quantum photonic technologies.
Project description:The identification of phenomena able to pinpoint quantum interference is attracting large interest. Indeed, a generalization of the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect valid for any number of photons and optical modes would represent an important leap ahead both from a fundamental perspective and for practical applications, such as certification of photonic quantum devices, whose computational speedup is expected to depend critically on multi-particle interference. Quantum distinctive features have been predicted for many particles injected into multimode interferometers implementing the Fourier transform over the optical modes. Here we develop a scalable approach for the implementation of the fast Fourier transform algorithm using three-dimensional photonic integrated interferometers, fabricated via femtosecond laser writing technique. We observe the suppression law for a large number of output states with four- and eight-mode optical circuits: the experimental results demonstrate genuine quantum interference between the injected photons, thus offering a powerful tool for diagnostic of photonic platforms.