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Generation, characterization and use of atom-resonant indistinguishable photon pairs

By Morgan W. Mitchell


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 6 MHz natural linewidth of the D$_1$ line of atomic rubidium. 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 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 445MHz linewidth and 57 dB of out-of-band rejection or an induced dichroism filter with an 80 MHz linewidth and $\ge$35dB 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.Comment: to appear as a book chapter in a compilation "Engineering the Atom-Photon Interaction" published by Springer in 2015, edited by A. Predojevic and M. W. Mitchel

Topics: Quantum Physics
Year: 2015
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