Generation, Characterization and Use of Atom-Resonant Indistinguishable Photon Pairs

  • Morgan W. Mitchell
Part of the Nano-Optics and Nanophotonics book series (NON)


We describe the generation of atom-resonant indistinguishable photon pairs using nonlinear optical techniques, their spectral purification using atomic filters, characterization using multi-photon interference, and application to quantum-enhanced sensing with atoms. Using either type-I or type-II cavity-enhanced spontaneous parametric down-conversion, we generate pairs of photons in the resonant modes of optical cavities with linewidths comparable to the natural linewidths of strong atomic transitions. The cavities and pump lasers are tuned so that emission occurs in a mode or a pair of orthogonally-polarized modes that are resonant to the \(\text {D}_1\) line, at 794.7 nm. The emission from these frequency-degenerate modes is separated from other cavity emission using ultra-narrow atomic frequency filters, either a Faraday anomalous dispersion optical filter (FADOF) with a 445 MHz linewidth and 57 dB of out-of-band rejection or an induced dichroism filter with an 80 MHz linewidth and \(\ge \) 35 dB out-of-band rejection. Using the type-I source, we demonstrate interference of photon pair amplitudes against a coherent state and a new method for full characterization of the temporal wave-function of narrow-band photon pairs. With the type-II source we demonstrate high-visibility super-resolving interference, a high-fidelity atom-tuned NooN state, and quantum enhanced sensing of atoms using indistinguishable photon pairs.


Fisher Information Faraday Rotation Photon Pair Quarter Wave Plate Spectral Purity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work reported here involved many people over many years. I would especially like to thank Marta Abad, Federica Beduini, Alessandro Cerè, Nicolas Godbout, Valentina Parigi, Ana Predojević, Chiara Vitelli, Florian Wolfgramm, Xinxing Xing, and Joanna Zielińska, each of whom contributed something unique and essential to the work reported here, e.g. inventing a first-of-its-kind source or filter, providing insights into the physics of atomic optical instruments, or persuading difficult lasers (and their suppliers) to cooperate with our plans. Aephraim Steinberg was essential to getting the photon pair research started. The contributions of Zehui Zhai, Yannick de Icaza Astiz and Gianvito Lucivero are also much appreciated. The research was supported by various Catalan, Spanish, European, Canadian and philanthropic grants over the years. The writing of this chapter was supported by the Spanish MINECO project MAGO (Refer FIS2011-23520), by the European Research Council project AQUMET, and by Fundació Privada CELLEX.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICFO-Institut de Ciencies FotoniquesCastelldefelsSpain
  2. 2.ICREA-Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis AvançatsBarcelonaSpain

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