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All photons are equal but some photons are more equal than others

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons201212

Toeppel,  Falk
Optics Theory Group, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons200999

Aiello,  Andrea
Optical Quantum Information Theory, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons201115

Leuchs,  Gerd
Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Toeppel, F., Aiello, A., & Leuchs, G. (2012). All photons are equal but some photons are more equal than others. NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 14: 093051. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/14/9/093051.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-6883-C
Abstract
Two photons are said to be identical if they are prepared in the same quantum state. Given the latter, there is a unique way to achieve this. Conversely, there are many different ways of preparing two non-identical photons: they may differ in frequency, polarization, amplitude, etc. Therefore, photon distinguishability depends upon the specific degree of freedom being varied. By means of a careful analysis of the coincidence probability distribution in a Hong-Ou-Mandel experiment, we can show that photon distinguishability can be actually quantified by the rate of distinguishability of photons, an experimentally measurable parameter that crucially depends on both the photon quantum state and the degree of freedom under control.