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17 April 2000

Physics Letters A 268 Ž2000. 260–267
www.elsevier.nlrlocaterphysleta

On the generation of the phase state
˜ a, B. Baseia a, C.J. Villas-Boas b, M.H.Y. Moussa b,)
Y. Guimaraes
a ´
Instituto de Fisica, UniÕersidade Federal de Goias, ˆ (GO), Brazil
´ Caixa Postal 131, 74001-970, Goiania
b ´
Departamento de Fisica, UniÕersidade Federal de Sao ˜ Carlos, 13565-905 (SP), Brazil
˜ Carlos, Via Washington Luiz, Km 235, Sao
Received 20 December 1999; accepted 3 March 2000
Communicated by P.R. Holland

Abstract

Proposals for the generation of the phase state are presented, for both stationary and travelling fields. In the first case the
scheme combines two variants of the ‘standard’ cavity QED quantum state engineering. The second scheme consists in an
extension of the optical state truncation by projection synthesis wPegg et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 81 Ž1998. 1604x, which is based
on field mixing in a beam-splitter array. The natural restriction to realize an exact phase state is discussed. q 2000
Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

PACS: 42.50.Dv; 03.65.Db; 03.65.Bz

1. Introduction Defining a phase state is a long story, because of
the difficulties associated with the definition of a
Among the various interesting states of quantum Hermitean phase operator w6–8x. Several descriptions
optics studied nowadays, the phase state u : is one of phase operators, based on different assumptions
very representative in this class w1–3x. According to and mathematical constructions, can be found in the
a theorem by Hillery w4x, this pure state belongs to literature, the first consistent description of a phase
the class of nonclassical states. It is complementary operator Žand a phase state. being presented by
to the number state n :, in the sense that the number Susskind and Glogower w9x. New phase operators
operator nˆ Ž nˆ n :s n n :. and the phase operator fˆ and phase states have been introduced, as we can see
Ž fˆ u :s u u :. form a canonically conjugate pair. In in a review by Carruthers and Nieto w10x. The more
certain sense, the coherent state a : Ž aˆ a :s a a :, recent proposal of a Hermitean phase operator Žand
aˆ being the annihilation operator. lies between them: phase state. was introduced by Pegg and Barnett
it exhibits phase and number dispersions, Dfˆ and w1–3x. They have shown that a finite-dimensional
D n,
ˆ between those values found in the phase state phase operator Žthe phase state belonging to a trun-
and in the number state w5x. cated Hilbert space. is better behaved than the
Susskind–Glogower counterpart, for example lead-
)
Corresponding author.
ing ²cos 2fˆ :q ²sin2fˆ : to fulfill the standard trigono-
E-mail addresses: yara@fis.ufg.br Ž Y. ˜ .,
Guimaraes metric property of unit rule. The apparent success of
miled@power.ufscar.br ŽM.H.Y. Moussa.. the Pegg–Barnett phase state, however, is not con-

0375-9601r00r$ - see front matter q 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 3 7 5 - 9 6 0 1 Ž 0 0 . 0 0 1 6 8 - 7

1 This scenario goes beyond the realm of quantum optics: in quantum mechanics it appears with names bound and unbound Fig. there are in Section 3. To In the present work we will discuss a proposal to our knowledge. discussed in Section 2. w25–27x. Generation of phase state for stationary fields sources Žthermal light. the development of superconducting high-Q cavities in microwave domain w20x opened new and interesting research in quantum optics. having obtained a satisfactory definition of states w22. is concerned with stationary Žtravelling. Sketch of the experimental setup for generation of phase states. this being also the case of the first proposal for ing resonant and non-resonant Ždispersive. as in the case of plane waves. selective detection leading to state volves infinite energy w5x. . respectively. On the other detector D. investigation. those us- 16x.2. and the detector chamber. w24x. Usually. Actually. an initially empty al. it reduction Žnon-unitary evolution. Ref.g. Hence. w1–3x. and.. we will combine two being examples of such category. .level atoms Žlevels g : the truncated state. . a Ramsey zone R. 1. the class of stationary-waÕes Žtrapped fields inside high-Q cavities. and by Dakna et and e :. respectively.23x can be generated in stationary waves. indicate the required atoms. namely w1–3x. the phase state in. m employed: Ži. on one part of an entangled and system to obtain the other part projected onto the 1 N desired state. Usually the case with how to generate this interesting state. the particle in a box and the free particle Ramsey zone. proposals by Ž Fig. The two-level atoms are considered as hand.. restricting ourselves to a truncate Hilbert space. the schemes used in ‘standard’ cavity QED quantum squeezed state is generated in a travelling-wave w14– state engineering ŽQSE. Žcase Žii. and Schrodinger’s ¨ cat Now. and D stand for the Žcontinuous. being trivial examples of them. One proposal concerns with come out in practice. Section 4 contains the comments and two classes of field states1 : one of them belonging to conclusion. namely. as done in Ref.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. to find an appropriate Hamiltonian describing a non- with um satisfying appropriate requirements shown linear medium which leads a given initial state to the in Ref.19x. seems easier to be realized in laboratories Žchaotic and laser light Here. a new problem emerges concerning desired state via unitaryevolution. the cavity. as mentioned below. has also been em- cannot be generated exactly in practice. Ži. it interactions. a phase operator and phase state. discussed With respect to propagation in space. the other concerning with the class of traÕelling-waÕes. w18x where a running-wave is generated in sisting of N identical two. Ž 2. In the first Žsecond. to make a quantum measurement Žselective detection. The numbers 1. In this way. case we are faced with a discrete state for stationary waves. This procedure. a discussion about the generation of generate a phase state and discuss its intrinsic limita- a phase state and the way in which its restrictions tion w5x in experiments. The other concerns with travelling fields. w21x. The symbols R. Žii. N. However. states Žsee. two different approaches have been fˆ s Ý um um :² um . The latter occurs in natural 2. um :s Ý e i ku '1 q N ks0 m k :. ployed recently in the generation of states of travel- approximations to this state is not forbidden by ling fields w18. e. called ‘state reduction’.. .. However. spectra. Here. ˜ et al. c 0 0 :q c1 1 :. . C. w19x where the generation of arbitrary quantum high-Q cavity C. in general. 1 shows the experimental arrangement con- Pegg et al. involves non-unitary evolution of the field state.. squeezed controversies. is worth mentioning recent ingenious. inside high-Q cavities. Depending on which case we are interested in. strictly speaking. is a subject of very recent the case of stationary fields. waves. Guimaraes 261 sensual and the reader is referred to w11–13x for coherent states using classical sources w20x. and a state-selective field ionization states of travelling fields is studied. atom-field ¨ generation of a Schrodinger’s cat state w17x. Ž 1.

29x.. s V 2trd . 2 cients L kN are given by the recurrence formula hŽ t 2 . sin Ž Vt 1 . no such 1r2 N. restricting the technique for N not too large. si . . where sˆqs e :² g . we obtain calculation allows us to verify that when all of them ceŽ1. suitable for preparing atom. Ž 3. atom is prepared by the microwave field R in a given Ž 7b .. s CgŽ1. The knowledge of j Ž j. in general: only numerical solu- Now. s 1. strong coupling to microwaves and a very long k s 0: L0Ž 2 . s CeŽ1. s the Jaynes–Cummings Hamiltonian Hon s " V 1 CeŽ j. CeŽ2. an auxiliary atom is immediately sent across the cavity. one to obtain the relation j Ž j. are detected in their ground state. V being . Ž 8a .rCgŽ j. CeŽ1. The on-resonant interaction is described by set of algebraic equations for the parameter j Ž j.. e :.262 ˜ et al. :F given by Eq. 2sin Ž Vt 2 . for the and V 1 is the one-photon Raby frequency. Moreover. obeys an algebraic equation of with L00 s 1. . to the Eq. g :.e. :A s CgŽ j. furnishes a coupled D. N . :A F . results w24x cgŽ2. . L kNy 1 cgN cos Ž 'k V 1t N . pare the jth atom entering the cavity. at a given time with a well. Ž6. with the initial atomic state CŽ0. :A F setting f :s C : we obtain s CŽ0.31x: To this end we identify Ž3. g :j q CeŽ j.rCgŽ j. ton in the cavity. sin Ž '2 Vt 2 . :F . Ž 8b . a straightforward iceŽ j. f :s N Ý LkNeyi kp r2 k :. and Ž7c.. 1 N cgŽ2. Each q CgŽ2. and after their on-resonant interac- tion with the field in C. CgŽ j. algorithms exist. They present a rence formula Ž4. . L ky1 Ny1 N ce sin Ž 'k V 1t N . method above to generate the truncated state Ž N X are available in this case. g :j q CeŽ j. CŽ0. i. leaving their pho. through cavity C. Ž 7c . ks0 where 1 where N is a normalization constant and the coeffi. s CgŽ1. As example. Once the jth atom. s 1 q 1 y . Ž e i w Žt . k s 2: L2Ž 2 . wplus Ž4. Ž 4.. sin Ž Vt 2 . standing for normalization. and the initial field state k L kN s e i kp r2 s Ž i . Next. entering the cavity. sin Ž '2 Vt 2 . sˆys g :² e . where CŽ0. 1 s hŽ t 2 . interaction with C :s X Ý k :. step by step. Ž 6. radiative decay time of the order of cavity lifetimes for high-Q superconducting cavities. whereas for N ) 4. Ž6. . the field in the state Ž5. s CeŽ j. setting CeŽ j.x with Ž5. sin Ž '2 Vt 2 . nˆ e :² e q g :² g . e :j in which we must pre- q Ž 1 y d k . 2sin Ž Vt 2 . j s 1. they are counted in Dividing Ž7b. s y1.2. L kN s Ž 1 y d k . one-by-one. s cgŽ j... after obtaining the state Ž5. 2sin Ž 2 Vt 2 . CgŽ2. sin Ž Vt 1 . superposition state CgŽ j. berg atomic states are counted with high efficiency by state selective field ionization detectors. Guimaraes circular Rydberg atoms. :A s 1 '2 Ž g :q e :. by Ž7a. w Ž t . e :j Ž j labelling the jth atom. It is found that the variable j Ž j. wplus Ž4. CeŽ2. For N F 4 there are algorithms yielding series of atoms in the ground state is of the order of analytical solutions. s N atoms have crossed the cavity. gives the superposition state CŽ0. Ž 5. :A m CŽ0. Eq. as a preliminary strategy we employ the tions.0 . The atoms are thus sent. Now. Ž 9. coming from a set of N q 1 coupled equations. the pure field state of the cavity cgŽ1.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. The effective action N ks0 of the dispersive interaction is given by w30. k s 1: L1Ž 2 . Hence. gives. for N s 2 the application of the recur- field long-lived correlations w28. s hy1 Ž t 2 . Ž5. tuned to 1 N have an off-resonant Ždispersive. Ž 7a . defined velocity. sin Ž Vt 1 . The probability for detecting the whole degree N. CŽ0.x allows P Ž sˆq aˆ q sˆy aˆ† . Ryd. cos Ž Vt 2 .

allows splitter. Decoherence means that our ¨ Schrodinger’s cat state w17x. Ž 10 . f :b being um :s Ý Ck e i k u m k :.. for traÕelling waves. will no longer corre- spond to some coherent state. . So. :s Uˆ Ž t . ™ enhances when the field excitation increases. . Generation of phase state for trazelling fields 1 N C Ž t . the rotated coherent interation inside the cavity and d s v y v 0 is the state and the NCS can be viewed as alternative detuning between atom and field frequencies. :. whose generation is well studied in the literature w32x. s l k p . Decoherence effect In the present case. by um s umŽ k . . . besides recently introduced by Pegg et al. in BS-2 indicate the required beam splitters. by Ck s ey a a kr 'k! 2 r2 and assume that N is sufficiently large. Ž 11 . an exact phase state is obtained in the limit N ` w1–3x. then the resulting state in Ž11. having low average excita. rotates to the final state 3. In tion for small values of N. using a pair of beam splitters in which the two output fields in the second beam-splitter are detected selectively. :s NX Ý e i k w Žt . the rotated coherent state a X :s a e i u m :. we mention an interesting point having transmittance Žreflectance. 2.. N f :a and f :b are the outputs for BS-1. s medium.. Fig. So. t the duration of atom-field this context. this figure BS-1 and BS-2 are two beam-splitters For completeness. thus states of light in travelling waves. now evolves nonunitarily to a desired state. one to obtain approximate phase states. the so called Fig. we realizations of the state in Ž11. for N X s Ž 1 q N . easily find that the field-state in Ž5. t i Ž ri . i s 1. . both concerning with field state being prepared degrades in time. In addition. : Že. loosing its ‘integrity’ w28.. Here. is the unitary evolution operator. a first impediment to get this goal comes see from decoherence effect Ždue unitary evolution: C Ž t . we will follow a scheme blows up in the limit N `. k :. C Ž 0 . Instead. w33x. with p s 1. Guimaraes 263 the Rabi frequency. 2 is a sketch of the experimental arrangement ‘truncated phase states’.g. Illustrative states of such to unavoidable interaction between the cavity-field ‘engineering’ are: the squeezed state w14–16x and the with its environment. concerning to states having the ‘format’ of the phase D 1 and D 2 are photodetectors. Next. Here. hence it Notwithstanding. the phase state. for generation of phase state for a travelling field. 1 :a and N y 1 :b state in Eq. by ks0 choosing the detector D 1 counting 1 photon while with Ck s 1r Ž 1 q N . 2. if we also replace the phase um in Eq. phase C Ž 0 . 1. Ž11. where t is the atom-field interaction time and Uˆ Ž t . through a nonlinear state in Eq. via ™ In principle. Firstly. also one input in BS-2. Ž2. w18x. y1r2 and w Ž t . . we recognize in Ž11. The interaction of the field with this medium y1 um . 3. one would obtain another interesting result: a noncoherent state having Poissonian statistics ŽNCS. The same as in Fig. 2. we write it in the form are input states in the first beam-splitter. we will show that. So clarifying the practical restrictions to the generation the field created in one output of the first beam- of an exact phase state for stationary fields. if we replace the coef- ficients Ck s 1r Ž 1 q N . a coherent state. ˜ et al.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. Usually. the present scheme. a :c is a coherent state entering the second beam splitter. where w1–3x: um s u 0 q 2p m Ž 1 q N . creates an emergent field in a desired state.29x. . BS-1 and eration was also studied in the literature w34x. Ž2. whose gen. the generation of a nonclassical field ks0 state for travelling waves is obtained by sending a light field conveniently chosen in an initial state which coincides with the desired Žtruncated.

eyi u 1 :b q ey2 i u 0 :b . is given by the set:  h1 . we have. as before. u : is the PB Ž20.. for N s 1 the input states in ½ C in :b c s yih 2 t 2 1 :b 0 :c q h2 5 0 :b 1 :c . instead of starting from the input On the other hand. results phase state given in Eq. u : According to Fig. . h 2 and R. the BS-1 are 1 :a and 0 :b . i s 1.. Ž2. Ž 24 .g. when the state f :b 2 has the form Ł hi s yR . wanted state f :a s N. we find that where hi s rirt i . and following the previous procedure Cout :b c s 0 :b 1 :c s cˆ†out 0 :b 0 :c . f :b sa ² f Cout :a bs '6 h1 t12 where we have employed the beam-splitter equation i'2 h1 ˆ † bout ž / ž s t 1 yir1 yir1 t 1 /ž / ˆ b†in . 0 :a 0 :b . the entire input in the BS-2 is given by i C in :b c s Ž t 2 cˆ†in y ir 2 bˆ †in . y54 . Next. e. 0 :a 0 :b . w31x. Generation of the state 1. Now. whereas the entire output in the BS-1 is given by leads us to get Cout :a b s Ž t 1 aˆ†out q ir 1 bˆout † . Ž19. To this end.264 ˜ et al. Ž 18 . u : In this case. ž / ž /ž / ˆ b†in s ir 1 t 1 ˆ† bout Ž 14 . Ž16. step by step: i Ži. Hence. Ž 25 . since f :a is obtained from the projection One solution. Žii. aˆ†in t 1 ir1 aˆ†out Ž 23 . Ž 19 . is1 i f :b s :b y ih1eyi u 0 :b 4 . 5 c†out ˆ c†in ˆ Ž 26 .h 2 . u :. iReyi u where the beam-splitter equation ŽWalls et al. Ž14. R 4 s  10. Ž 15 . where N. gives the output state 2 ` an a :s eyR r2 Ý ' n :. Ž 20 . ½ = 2 :b q Ž h12 y 1 . we will start output state from the input state C in :a b s 1 :a 1 :b s aˆ†in bˆ †in 0 :a 0 :b . Ž 12 . C in :a b s 1 :a 0 :b s aˆ†in 0 :a 0 :b . Ž 13 . has been used. '2 h1 t1  1 Ž 16 . u :. 2. f :a sb ² f Cout :a b . we obtain the output state in the b-arm of the BS-1 so. ns0 n! i ½ Cout :a b s ih1 t 1 0 :a 1 :b y h1 5 1 :a 0 :b . we can wright the and application of the equation Ž K stands for nor- entire input state entering the BS-1 as malization. in the Eq. where a : is a coherent state Žwith a s Re i u . we have for the BS-2 the state in the BS-1: 1 :a 0 :b . At this point. the straightforward application of the Eq. u :. Guimaraes detecting N y 1 photons in D 2 .5. f :b s Kc² a C in :b c . comparing the Eqs.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. Ž 22 .. 0. f :b s yih 2 t 2 KeyR 2 r2 ½ 1 :b q h2 5 0 :b . the application of the Eqs. yielding the state 1.2. which gives the relationship among the unknowns parameters h1 . Ž13. Ž 17 . Ž 21 . it follows f :a s 1. and Ž23. Generation of the state 2. we will obtain the Thus.

f :b s Kc² a C in :b cs y i'3 h 2 t 23 KeyR r2 qi ey3 i u 1 :b 2'6 R Ž 2h 22 y 1 . allows one to get y '6 ey2 i u 1 :b y i '6 5 ey3 i u 0 :b . 1. in the BS-1.19 4 . 5 s yi2h 2 t 24 KeyR 2 r2 ½ 4 :b y i 2h 2 3 R 2 Ž h 22 y 1 . Ž33. i with solution  h 1 . y '3 h12 y 2 ey2 i u 1 :b q i h1 1 ey3i u 0 :b . Ž 31c.44337 . R 2 Ž h 22 y 2 . 1 . R 4 s  0 . R 4 s  0. Ž32. ˜ et al. gives the input state 3. ½ = 3 :b y i '3 h2 eyi u 2 :b y R 4h 22 2'6 ey4 i u 0 :b .r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. Ž 30 . h 2 . Ž 29 . Ž 31a. Ž 31b. Ž 28b. is1 Ž hi y 1 . 1. h 2 and R In this case. '6 Žiii. starting from the input stat 1 :a 3 :b gives Ł 2 sy . Guimaraes 265 The same mimic applied to the BS-2. f :b sa ² f Cout :a b and i '3 h1 s 2'6 h1 t 13 ½ 3 :b q i 2h12 y 1 eyi u 2 :b f :b s Kc² a C in :b c R Ž 3h 22 y 1 . 2 is1 i f :b s Kc² a C in :b cs y i'2 h 2 t 22 KeyR r2 2 1 R2 R Ž h 22 y 1 . is1 hi y 2 ½ = 2 :b y i '2 h2 1 :b 2 1 R3 Łh sy . 2h1 '2 is1 i one solution being given by the set: ½ = 4 :b q i 3h12 y 1 eyi u 3 :b  h1 .1. for this case. u : state in the b-arm of BS-2 2 hi R Ł 2h 2 y 1 s y 3 .. Generation of the state 3. u : y ey2 i u 2 :b 3 Ž h12 y 1 .9. Ž 32 . 2 i f :b sa ² f Cout :a bs '5! h1 t14 2 hi R2 Łh s .71494 . R Ž 34a. The application of the foregoing 2 1 procedure furnishes. with whose comparison leads to the relations for to the Cout :b c s 1 :b 1 :c s bˆout † cˆ†out 0 :b 0 :c . with the input f in :a b s 1 :a 2 :b . 5 Ž 33 . eyi u Ł 2 s 3'2 . gives the equations Živ. u : connecting h1 . and =eyi u 3 :b y ey2 i u 2 :b q 2'3 2 R 3 Ž h 23 y 3h 2 .0955 . 8. a lengthy but straightforward calcula- 2 hi R tion. Ž 28a. we must start. 2 hi Ł 3h 2 y 1 s y 4 . R 3h 2 Comparison of Eqs. Here. Generation of the state 4. qy i h13 y 3h1 ey3 i u 1 :b y h12 5 ey4 i u 0 :b . R2 is1 '6 q '2 e y2 i u 5 0 :b . whose comparison with Ž26.h 2 . is1 i . Ž 27 .

nh 2nq 1 y BN . 2. N. ž / Ž 38b. step by step as con. N y 1 :c . = is1 i 6'2 'N ! h2 3 yi n u 2 1 R =e N y n :. . nh1 y BN . nhi is1i n with the solution  h1 . then the Eq. R n states’. 9. u :. Since n s 0. u : we N! have found 4 equations wsee Eqs. Since expression when emerging from the BS-1 an exact phase state is obtained in the limit N ` ™ ™ w1–3x then it involves infinite energy w5x Ž n s Nr2 f :b sa ² f Cout :a b ` when N `. 1. . Now. Ž 37 . gives 2 hi 2 1 R4 Ł h 2 s 2'6 . implies in tal scheme wFig. 1. 2x shows that: for our choice on N equations. and R for the gen- BN . then it is interesting to show the n way in which such natural restriction manifests in i N Ž i . The system will have solution Nyn N only if one of the equations is a linear combination of the remaining ones.266 ˜ et al. So.h 2 . . is1 i i 4'6 The identification of Ž35. involved in the experiment. QSE to present two proposals for the generation of a nects the states a :c and N. tion of a phase state for a stationary field. A little inspection on the experimen. ! A N . Comments and conclusion BS-2 into the wanted state f :a s N. with j s 0. . s . Ž 35 . nh 2ny1 Ł 9 Žh 2 y 1. which also tends to zero in the limit N ` since there are 2 N different outcomes given by:  N y j :c . the so called ‘truncated phase sy (Ž N y 1. Ž34. . We have verified that this AN . with Ž36. of the BS-2. Here. 0. happens. Ž 34d.x and 3 un. Ł h 3 y 3h sy . 2. allows us to get its generalized concerns with the same for a traÕelling field. R 4 s  40. one of the N q 1 equations being re- selective detection the entire input in the BS-1 coin. ! ( (n! Ž N y n . . n s N n . Guimaraes 2 1 R2 (Ž N y n . eral case N. the other ™ structed before. Ž 34b. Ž y1. N y 1. In spite f :b s Kc² a C in :b c of the natural restriction to the generation of an exact phase-state. . ! connected with the efficiency of atomic detection ns0 = h1 eyi n u N y n :. Ž37.n s N n . Ž 36 . For stationary fields it appears s Ý h1 t 1N Ž N q 1 . for the state 4. 'N ! these experiments. . now connected with the efficience of detection in the and its generalized expression when reaching the BS-2 ™ outputs Ž 1 :a . Next.h 2 . u : emerging in the BS-1. cides with the entire output in the BS-2. we have shown how to construct approx- 2 ih 2 t 2N 'N ! KeyR r2 N n imations to this state. !'n! R n s . . the ingredient directly responsible We have employed some existing schemes of for this transformation is the state f :b . ! Ý Ž yi . Ž 34c. ™ A N . N y j :b 4 .h 2 . Ł nq 1 y BN . So the net result of our experimental arrangement is the trans- formation of the coherent state a :c entering the 4. which con. ž / Ž 38a. nhiny1 is1 A N .01 4 . we may try to find a recurrence formula n N connecting the variables h1 . it is worth noting that. R . for both cases of stationary and traÕelling ns0 fields. u :.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. dundant. Ž N y n . a careful phase state: one of them concerning with the genera- inspection on the state f :b . nh1ny1 nq 1 For travelling fields the same restriction appears. j :b 4 and  j :c . where knowns Ž h1 . which is proportional to 1r2 N and goes to zero in the required limit N `.

Barnett.L. photons arrivals. Yamamoto. Rev. B. N y 1 :. Opt. Rev. w26x M. Raimond. Brune. G. R. A 50 Ž1994. Mertz. 36 Ž1988. M. A 34 Ž1986. A 39 Ž1989.M. Pegg. 6 Ž1988. Rev.M. 70%. Yurke. Berlin. w18. J. tion to the non-unity quantum efficiency detectors w9x L.M. S. Phys.M.F. Phys. Rembovsky.M. 40 Ž1968. in its effect on projection synthesis technique. A 45 Ž1992. 483. w29x L. A 45 Ž1992. w15x R. Welsch. Susskind.M. w36x.B. while the damping constant for BS’ s is consid. . W. Zheng. Raimond. Lett. Lett. Robinson.A. Maccone. 4148. Carruthers.M. culty to be circumvented concerns with detectors w23x M. Mandel. N. w36x G. Raimond. Elsevier. Phys. Y. w1x D. Phys. Barnett. Louisell.E.T.M. Phys. Rev. 3974. at.G. V. Phys. ˜ et al. 5193. and this approximation must be evaluated Walley. w34x M. L. w30x T. Lett. 409. Lett.T. 13. Zin-Justin ŽEds. 1665. Have. 771.. 49. culty to dispose of arbitrary number states.T. 1992.R. Ser. Rev. Brune. S. in the experiment: for example. Mod. the device proposed in Ref. B. Barnett. Walls.T. w13x Yu. Clausen. Phys. Rev. Vorontsov. Nieto. w8x H. Baseia. Mandel. Haroche. 71 Ž1993. Lett. 2360. D. This paper was partially supported by CAPES Haroche. 3939..I. we should stress that for the Maali. 5193. w18x the present device should Zagury. Lett. 71 an accurate analysis of the errors should also account Ž1993. 4087.M. The Quantum Theory of Light. Rev. Phys. Lett. 1604. Rev. Soc. Hillery. Phys.B. 176. S. the efficiency for single-photon detectors is about w6x P. A 50 Ž1994. 7 Ž1963. 3339. Rev. Maali. Brune. A 238 Ž1998. 60. ¨ D. Haroche. we note that ford. w17x. Phys. Phys. N.Y. Phillips and Haroche. Appl. Baseia. and the absorptive beam splitters. Phys.M. choice um s 0 our state will correspond to a general. Phys. Springer. M. following the w28x M. A mention the recent quantum Fock filter scheme pro.M. Since this is not available presently. 243. Rev. necessary w12x J. w25x K.M. G. B. So. H. Loudon. Sleator.W. Brune. Zagury. F. Lett.M. M. Mod. 1973. Phys. Here we w19x M. Phys. 2.. Robinson. Proc. Such scheme is able w20x S. S.H. Rev. Rev. Pegg. Vogel. Raimond. M. w21x S. 76 Ž1996. J. Haroche. 2579. S. Europhys.H. w32x L. 71 important. The second diffi. Sacchi. 133 Ž1997. Schleich. Brazilian agencies. 280. Haroche. Zagure. Phys. Kitagawa. N. w31x D.J. L. tions of few number states from a generic input state. In this special case. As a final remark. Raimond. A. Stoler.. Rev. N y 1 Zagury.G. 57 Ž1986. required to discriminate between 0. perfect single photon source. Opt. Commun. The w18x D.M. Davidovich.A.M. 139. 40 Ž1927. Phys. Guo. J. J. Torgerson. N. Phys. be named generalized ‘quantum scissors’. L. J. Dalibard. 1816. w36x plays a crucial w22x S.. 81 same problem also concerns with number state Ž1998. FAPESP ŽC. Raimond.F.J. less than 2% in BK7 crystals. Davidovich. Davidovich. Moussa. ŽLondon. Lett. L. References quantphr9904074. Akulin. Pegg. 895. 1990. Fougeres. required in the b-arm of BS-1. B 54 role in the present QSE scheme. F.M. These points also w5x R. Fundamental Systems in Quantum Optics.. A 114 Ž1927. ton source. Brune. Raimond. Phys.W. 2409.S. Haroche. Science 230 Ž1985. Milburn.A. Davidovich. Guimaraes 267 Let us account for some sensitive points in the w3x D. Les to select a specific Fock component and superposi- Houches. w2x D. A 254 Ž1999.T. Slusher. 355. w35x D. Rev. Z. Physica A 265 Ž1999. 223. w7x F. A. w27x L. Lett. L. Lett. ization of a previous result by Pegg.. Rev.Y. . Brune. 7. J. S. Barnett. Yurke. J. The first is the present technological diffi. Dakna. Raimond. Pegg. for this deficiency. Quantum Optics. M. Lett. J. and CNPq ŽB. Science 233 Ž1986. L. Lett. 74 Ž1995. of the BS-1. Holber. Rev. see also Ref. Phys.r Physics Letters A 268 (2000) 260–267 Y. p. P. 55 Ž1985. S. J. ŽY. M. In addi. Clarendon.P. as required in the a-arm w14x R. J. w16x R. ` L. nomenclature of Ref. Phys. Ž1992. 927. 1658. S. erably small. S.W. Dirac. Weinfurter. w33x C. 411. we do not have 7..L. Physics 1 Ž1964. Phys. Lett. . Phys. Pegg. S. Yu. J. First. 59 Ž1999. w17x B. Barnett w18x. Rev.V. Barnett. Lett. w24x M. A. J.W. experimental non-idealities that seem to be equally w11x J. Haroche. M. Knoll.19x and w35x. S.-G. D’Ariano. Ž1993. 76 Ž1996. 72 Ž1994.C.M. in: J. Bernadot. M. L. Ox- concerns to Refs. 1. NY. The commonly cited method of para. . above-presented scheme for QSE. metric fluorescence only approximates a single pho. Schmidt-Kaler. there are two other w10x P. F. R895. J. posed by D’Ariano et. Acknowledgements 1994. Dantas. Glogower. Noh.M. Nussenzveig. 193. Paris. Brune. London. w4x M. Phillips. Davidovich. Phys. A 111 Ž1985.