Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Observation of micro–macro entanglement of light

Observation of micro–macro entanglement of light

Ratings: (0)|Views: 6,869 |Likes:
Published by Bo Collins
http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys2682.html
http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys2682.html

More info:

Published by: Bo Collins on Jul 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/14/2014

pdf

text

original

 
LETTERS
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 21 JULY 2013 |DOI:10.1038/NPHYS2682
Observationofmicro–macroentanglementoflight
A. I. Lvovsky
1,2
*
, R. Ghobadi
1,3
, A. Chandra
1
, A. S. Prasad
1
and C. Simon
1
Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment
1
involves a(macroscopic) cat whose quantum state becomes entangledwith that of a (microscopic) decaying nucleus. The creationof such micro–macro entanglement is being pursued in severalfields,includingatomicensembles
2
,superconductingcircuits
3
,electro-mechanical
4
and opto-mechanical
5
systems. Here weexperimentally demonstrate the micro–macro entanglementof light. The macro system involves over a hundred millionphotons, whereas the micro system is at the single-photonlevel. We show that microscopic quantum fluctuations (in fieldquadrature measurements) on one side are correlated withmacroscopic fluctuations (in the photon number statistics)on the other side. Further, we demonstrate entanglementby bringing the macroscopic state back to the single-photonlevel and performing full quantum state tomography of the final state. Although Schrödinger’s thought experimentwas originally intended to convey the absurdity of applyingquantum mechanics to macroscopic objects, this experimentandrelatedonessuggestthatitmayapplyonallscales.
Schrödinger cat states are notoriously difficult to generate andobserve because even the minutest interactions of the systemwith the environment entangle the two, thereby decohering thesuperposition. In the optical domain, decoherence is mainly due to losses associated with absorption and spurious reflectionat interfaces. However, certain optical states exhibit surprisingrobustnesswithrespecttosuchlosses,andcanbetrulymacroscopic, yetmaintainpropertiesofaquantumsuperposition.There have been several recent studies aimed at creating micro–macro entanglement of light
. For example, ref.6claimed to havedemonstrated micro–macro entanglement involving 10
4
photonson the macro side by starting with a polarization-entangled photonpair and amplifying one of the photons. However, these resultswere shown to be inconclusive by pointing out that equivalentresultscouldbeobtainedwithaseparablestate
9
.Itwassubsequently understood
that, although the state of ref.6is robust to losses, itis very difficult to detect micro–macro entanglement by means of directmeasurements(suchasphotoncounting)onthemacroscopicstate, because the relevant measurements need to have extremelhigh resolution. This issue may be resolved by bringing themacroscopic state back to the single-photon level by inverting theamplification operation
.The type of amplificationconsidered inthe above references wasbased on optical nonlinearities (squeezing). A significantly simplerapproachistousethephase-spacedisplacementoperationtorenderthe state in one or both channels macroscopic
6
. One can start withthe delocalized single-photon state
|
=
1
√ 
2
(
|
0
A
|
1
B
+|
1
A
|
0
B
)
(1)
1
Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary T2N 1N4, Alberta, Canada,
2
Russian Quantum Center, 100 Novaya Street, Skolkovo, Moscow 143025, Russia,
3
Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.*e-mail:lvov@ucalgary.ca
Single-photoninputAlice’shomodynedetector
c
Bob’sbalanceddetectorAlice’s localoscillatorReferencebeamBob’shomodynedetectorBob’s local oscillatorDelocalizedphoton
 X 
A
 X 
B
N
B
 D ^
  ( ¬
 α
 )
a b
Figure1
|
Scheme of the experiment.
a
, The preparation of themicro–macro entangled state(2)and Alice’s measurement of the fieldquadratures in the microscopic portion of the state.
b
,
c
, The two options forBob’s measurement of the macroscopic portion of the state: energy meas-urement to verify macroscopicity (
b
) and undisplacement followed by thequadrature measurement to verify entanglement (
c
). Beams of bright redcolour correspond to microscopic optical states; dark red to macroscopic.
where A and B refer to fictitious observers Alice and Bob, and apply the phase-space displacement operator
ˆD
(
α
)
=
e
α
ˆa
α
ˆa
where
ˆa
and
ˆa
are the creation and annihilation operators, respectively, toBob’s mode to obtain
|
D
=
1
√ 
2
|
0
A
ˆD
(
α
)
|
1
B
+|
1
A
ˆD
(
α
)
|
0
B
(2)where
α
is the macroscopic displacement vector (Fig. 1a). Theresulting state is an attractive candidate for the observationof micro–macro entanglement. Surprisingly, even though thedisplaced single-photon and vacuum states are close in phase spaceand in mean photon numbers (
 N 
α
2
), they are macroscopically different in the photon number variance. This property makesthe state(2) a macroscopic quantum superposition according tothe most basic definition
, namely a superposition of two stateswith macroscopically different values for a physical observable. Thenecessary phase-space displacement is easy to implement in thelaboratory: this is done by overlapping the target state with a strongcoherentstateonahighlyasymmetricbeamsplitter
.State (2) is only weakly sensitive to losses
7
, which is very advan-tageous from the point of view of experimental implementation.In contrast, its sensitivity to phase noise increases with the sizeof the displacement
7
, making it essential to implement a highly phase-stable set-up. This increasing sensitivity to a decoherencemechanism can be seen as an additional argument for the macro-scopiccharacterofthesuperposition(2)(ref.15). Finally, one can easily verify the entangled nature of state(2). To that end, one can undo the displacement in Bob’schannel by applying operator
ˆD
(
α
) to it, bringing state (2)
NATURE PHYSICS
|
ADVANCE ONLINE PUBLICATION
|
www.nature.com/naturephysics
1
©
 
2013
 
Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
 
LETTERS
NATUREPHYSICS
back to microscopic
(1), and characterizing it by homodynetomography 
.Here, we implement state(2) and test it for the two salientfeatures of Schrödinger’s cat: macroscopicity and entanglement.First, we verify that, by changing the conditions of a microscopicmeasurementinAlice’schannelandconditioningonspecificresultsofthatmeasurement,weobtainstateswithmacroscopicallydistinctphoton number statistics in Bob’s channel. Second, we performhomodyne tomography on the undisplaced state and verify thattheentanglementhasbeenpreservedthroughthedisplacementandundisplacement operations.The principal scheme of the first part of the experiment isshown inFig. 1a,b. A heralded single photon from a parametricdown-conversion set-up propagates through a symmetric beamsplitter to generate the nonlocal single-photon state. We performa phase-space quadrature measurement in Alice’s mode by meansofabalancedhomodynedetector
.Atthesametime,Bob’smodeissubjectedtophase-spacedisplacementwith
α
2
1
.
6
×
10
8
photons,afterwhichitsphotonnumber
 N 
B
ismeasured.These energy measurements exhibit macroscopic quantum fluc-tuationswhosestatisticsarecorrelatedwithAlice’smeasurementsof thefieldquadrature(Fig. 2).Thiscanbequalitativelyunderstoodasfollows.Alice’smeasurementofthepositionobservable
 X 
A
collapsestheentanglement,projectingBob’smodeontostate
|
ψ
B
=
1
√ 
2
ψ
0
(
 X 
A
)
ˆD
(
α
)
|
1
B
+
ψ
1
(
 X 
A
)
ˆD
(
α
)
|
0
B
(3)where
ψ
0
,
1
(
 X 
) are the wavefunctions of the zero- and one-photonstates in the position basis. If 
A
is close to zero, we have
|
ψ
1
(
 X 
A
)
|
ψ
0
(
 X 
A
), so the state in Bob’s channel is close to
ˆD
(
α
)
|
1
and its photon number noise variance is about
 N 
2
3
α
2
. Onthe other hand, if Alice observes a high quadrature value
A
1,Bob’smodeisprojectedontoastatecloseto
ˆD
(
α
)
|
0
so
 N 
2
α
2
.In this way, projecting onto different values of a microscopicobservable at Alice’s end leads to macroscopically different photonnumber statistics at Bob’s.Althoughideallytheratiobetweenthephotonnumbervariancesin these two situations equals 3, in our experiment this number isreduced to about 1.35, primarily owing to two effects. First, the ob-served data are influenced by the imperfection in the preparation of thesingle-photonstateandlinearlosses,whichmanifestthemselvesas an admixture of the vacuum state
|
0
A
|
0
B
to the ideal state(1)(refs17,19). In this work, the vacuum fraction is 1
η
=
0
.
46.Second, we measure the photon number by means of a balancedphotodetector
. Bob’s mode is incident onto the sensitive area of one of its photodiodes while the other photodiode is illuminatedby a reference laser pulse of exactly the same mean energy. Thesubtraction signal is then proportional to
B
 N 
, where
isthe number of photons in the reference pulse. This technique isnecessary because the photon number fluctuations of the displacedfield are on the scale of 
α
, whereas its mean is much higher:
 N 
B
α
2
. Subtraction of the reference pulse permits eliminationof this background along with its classical noise. As a trade-off, itleads to addition of the shot noise
 N 
2
=
α
2
to the signal, thereby reducingtheobservedratioofthephotonnumbervariances.The experimental results (Fig. 2)exhibit different behaviourdependent on the relative phase of Alice’s quadrature measurementand Bob’s displacement. If the two are the same, we observe thatnot only the variance but also the mean of the photon numberobserved in Bob’s channel is correlated with Alice’s results. On theother hand, if the phases are orthogonal, the mean photon numberis almost constant. Therefore, by choosing which quadrature tomeasure, Alice can influence the state prepared in Bob’s channel.This is a consequence of the entangled nature of state(2); similarphenomena have been observed in discrete
, continuous
and
¬5,000
×
10
8
5,0003.23.43.63.84.04.2II II IIIII IIIAlice’s quadrature measurement resultCoherent state
40,0000¬40,000 40,0000 ¬40,00040,0000¬40,000
N
B
¬
N
R
〈Δ
(
N
B
¬
N
R
)
2
¬1 1 32¬3 ¬2¬1¬3 ¬2 321
abc
Figure2
|
Photon number statistics of the state in Bob’s channel that isconditionally prepared by Alice’s quadrature measurement.
a
,
b
, Mean (
a
)and variance (
b
) of the difference
N
B
N
R
between the photon numbersand the reference beam. Filled circles correspond to the displacement inBob’s channel along the same quadrature as Alice’s measurement; for opencircles the displacement and measurement are in orthogonal quadratures.The dashed line in
b
corresponds to 2
α
2
; that is, the variance that would beobserved if Bob’s channel contained a coherent state of amplitude
α
.
c
, Histograms of
N
B
N
R
conditioned on Alice’s measurement result withinintervals I, II, III shown in
a
,
b
by shaded areas. All histograms correspond tothe displacement and measurement in the same quadrature. Solid anddashed lines in
c
show theoretical predictions, respectively with andwithout taking experimental imperfections into account. The statisticsrepresented by histograms I and III, corresponding approximately to states1
/
√ 
2
ˆD
(
α
)
[|
0
±|
1
]
, can be distinguished by a single energy measurementwith a 68% certainty. They are reminiscent of the dead and alive states ofSchrödinger’s cat.
hybrid
systems, but not yet on a macroscopic level. In particular,this behaviour explicitly shows absence of decoherence of the twotermsin(2).Ifsuchdecoherencewerepresent,wewouldobservenodependenceonAlice’schoiceofquadratures.An interesting interpretation of our results arises if one rewritesstate (2) in the superposition basis:
|
D
=
12
√ 
2
[
(
|
0
+|
1
)
A
ˆD
(
α
)(
|
0
+|
1
)
B
(
|
0
|
1
)
A
ˆD
(
α
)(
|
0
|
1
)
B
]
2
NATURE PHYSICS
|
ADVANCE ONLINE PUBLICATION
|
 
NATUREPHYSICS
LETTERS
|00
00
01
10
11
|01
|10
|11
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0Transmission of attenuator
       C     o     n     c     u     r     r     e     n     c     e
0.00.10.20.30.40.50.10.20.30.40.5
ab
Figure3
|
Homodyne tomography of the micro–macro entangled stateafter undisplacing Bob’s mode.
a
, Density matrix showing entanglement ofAlice’s and Bob’s modes. The plot shows the matrix elementscorresponding to zero- and one-photon domains of the optical Hilbertspace; the diagonal element contribution from other domains does notexceed 1.2%.
b
, Concurrence
C
(
ˆ
ρ
)
=
2(
|
ρ
01
|√ 
ρ
00
ρ
11
) of the two-modestate
7
as a function of the attenuation between the displacement andundisplacement operation shows that micro–macro entanglement is robustto optical losses. The dashed theoretical curve corresponds to state(1)andaccounts for the losses; the solid curve also accounts for the two-photonterm of weight 1.5% that contaminates the heralded single photon.
This, again, can be viewed as Schrödinger’s cat, but now themacroscopic terms
ˆD
(
α
)(
|
0
±|
1
)
B
have photon number statisticswith different mean values of 
α
2
+
1
/
2
±
α
and standard deviationsof 
α
√ 
2. Performing a single measurement of the photon numberobservable and checking whether the result exceeds
α
2
allows oneto distinguish these states from each other with an error probability of 10.1%. In other words, the two macroscopic components of ourstate are distinguishable by means of a single-shot measurementusingadetectorwithoutmicroscopicsensitivity.This fact, which further emphasizes the Schrödinger’s cat natureof our state, is confirmed by the experimental results. Alice’sobservation of quadrature values
A
such that
ψ
0
(
 X 
A
)
=±
ψ
1
(
 X 
A
)leads, according to (3), to projecting Bob’s channel onto states
ˆD
(
α
)(
|
0
±|
1
). The relevant experimentally observed statistics of Bob’s photon number measurement (shown in panels I and III of Fig. 3c) are substantially different, albeit not as much as expectedtheoreticallyintheidealizedsetting.Thisisduetothemeasurementimperfections discussed above, which increase the probability of errorindistinguishingthetwostatestoabout32%.For a direct verification of entanglement, we apply the inversedisplacement
ˆD
(
α
) to Bob’s mode of state(2). Both modes of that state are then subjected to balanced homodyne detection at
Single-photoninputAlice’shomodynedetectorBob’sdetectorH1H3H2Q2H4attH5Q1Displacement fieldand Alice’s local oscillatorBob’s local oscillatorand reference beamP1P3P4P2
Figure4
|
Implementation of the set-up.
Half-waveplates are denoted by
H
, quarter-waveplates by
Q
, polarizing beam splitters by
P
, attenuator byatt. See Methods for further details.
various local oscillator phases (Fig. 1c)
. The data output by Bob’shomodyne detector exhibit residual phase-dependent quadraturedisplacement on a scale of 
α
10, which we suppress by meansof electronic filters. The collected quadrature data are used toreconstruct the density matrix of the two-mode state. This density matrix (Fig. 3) is consistent with a mixture of state(1)with weight
η
and vacuum state with weight 1
η
and shows a highdegree of entanglement
. As undisplacement is a local operation,entanglement of the reconstructed state after the undisplacementprovesthatthemicro–macrostatewasentangledaswell.Finally, we verified the robustness of entanglement of state (2)with respect to losses. We inserted a series of attenuators betweenthedisplacementandundisplacementoperationsandreconstructedthe density matrix of the resulting state.Figure 3b shows that,although entanglement is degraded with loss, the rate of this degra-dationissimilartothatexpectedintheabsenceofdisplacement.To summarize, we have conclusively demonstrated, for the firsttime, an optical entangled state consisting of two terms that areboth macroscopic in the particle number and macroscopically distinct from each other. These features distinguish our work form previous experiments aimed at generating large-size opticalcoherent superpositions
.We emphasize the difference between our experiment andhomodyne tomography of optical states
. Although the latter alsoinvolves interference of a microscopic optical state with a strongfield, the fields generated by this interference are viewed as apart of the measurement process—akin to the electronic cascadewithin an avalanche photodetector. The present work, in contrast,studies these fields as part of a quantum system and unveils theirmacroscopic and entangled character.Astatesimilartoourscanbeimplementedinotherquantumsys-tems,forexample,inatomicensembles.Adelocalizedcoherentspinexcitation stored in two atomic clouds
can be subjected to phase-spacedisplacementbybrieflyapplyingamagneticfieldperpendicu-lartothequantizationaxis,leadingtoprecessionofthemacroscopicBloch vector by a small angle. The resulting atomic collective statecan be measured and its entanglement verified using the techniqueof off-resonant Faraday interaction
2
. Another intriguing possibility istocombinethepresentapproachwithopto-mechanicalsystems.Our study contributes to the ongoing discussion in the literatureregarding the definition of macroscopic quantum superpositions.We have here adopted the most basic definition, a superpositionof two states that have macroscopically different expectation valuesfor some physical observable
. We have shown that our state iscompliant not only with this definition, but with an even strongercriterion: its two components are largely distinguishable by means
NATURE PHYSICS
|
ADVANCE ONLINE PUBLICATION
|
3

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
roswellhaiku liked this
harrycapocino liked this
Leo Staley liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->