Interference of probability amplitudes: a simple demonstration within the Hong–Ou–Mandel experiment

Giovannini, D., Romero, J. and Padgett, M.J. (2014) Interference of probability amplitudes: a simple demonstration within the Hong–Ou–Mandel experiment. Journal of Optics, 16(3), 032002. (doi:10.1088/2040-8978/16/3/032002)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2040-8978/16/3/032002

Abstract

The dip in the Hong–Ou–Mandel (HOM) experiment is frequently attributed to the interference of two indistinguishable photons. The width of the dip is inversely proportional to the spectral bandwidth of the light. We confirm that this width is unchanged regardless of where the bandwidth selection happens, i.e. prior to the photons combining in the beam splitter or just before the detectors; the latter case seemingly after the interference of the photons. The equivalence of the results from these two cases is a simple demonstration that the interference in the HOM experiment is not between photons, but rather between probability amplitudes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Padgett, Professor Miles and Giovannini, Dr Daniel and Romero, Dr Mary
Authors: Giovannini, D., Romero, J., and Padgett, M.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Journal of Optics
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:2040-8978
ISSN (Online):2040-8986

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