The European Physical Journal D - Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 237-245

First online:

Optical mode characterization of single photons prepared by means of conditional measurements on a biphoton state

  • T. AicheleAffiliated withFachbereich Physik, Universität Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
  • , A.I. LvovskyAffiliated withFachbereich Physik, Universität Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
  • , S. SchillerAffiliated withInstitut für Experimentalphysik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

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A detailed theoretical analysis of the spatiotemporal mode of a single photon prepared via conditional measurements on a photon pair generated in the process of parametric down-conversion is presented. The maximum efficiency of coupling the photon into a transform-limited classical optical mode is calculated and ways for its optimization are determined. An experimentally feasible technique of generating the optimally matching classical mode is proposed. The theory is applied to a recent experiment on pulsed homodyne tomography of the single-photon Fock state [A.I. Lvovsky et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 050402 (2001)].

PACS. 42.50.Dv Nonclassical field states; squeezed, antibunched, and sub-Poissonian states; operational definitions of the phase of the field; phase measurements – 42.50.Ar Photon statistics and coherence theory – 03.65.Ud Entanglement and quantum nonlocality (e.g. EPR paradox, Bell's inequalities, GHZ states, etc.)