University of Toronto2014-06-19 6:09 PM

Scalable Spatial Superresolution Using Entangled Photons

Abstract

N00N states -- maximally path-entangled states of N photons -- exhibit spatial interference patterns sharper than any classical interference pattern. This is known as super-resolution. However, even with perfectly efficient number-resolving detectors, the detection efficiency of all previously demonstrated methods to measure such interference decreases exponentially with the number of photons in the N00N state, often leading to the conclusion that N00N states are unsuitable for spatial measurements. Here, we create spatial super-resolution fringes with two-, three-, and four-photon N00N states, and demonstrate a scalable implementation of the so-called ``optical centroid measurement'' which provides an in-principle perfect detection efficiency. Moreover, we compare the N00N-state interference to the corresponding classical super-resolution interference. Although both provide the same increase in spatial frequency, the visibility of the classical fringes decreases exponentially with the number of detected photons, while the visibility of our experimentally measured N00N-state super-resolution fringes remains approximately constant with N. Our implementation of the optical centroid measurement is a scalable method to measure high photon-number quantum interference, an essential step forward for quantum-enhanced measurements, overcoming what was believed to be a fundamental challenge to quantum metrology.

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