Generation of single photons and Schrödinger kitten states of light – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Niels Bohr Institute > Calendar > 2008 > Generation of single p...

Generation of single photons and Schrödinger kitten states of light

A beam of light containing only one single photon. A beam that is morequiet than the absence of light. And a beam with properties that makes ita relative of the cat in Schrödinger's famous Gedankenexperiment. Theseare some of the phenomena from the quantum world that we studied in thisproject. Using the process of down-conversion, in which one blue photonturns into two twin infrared photons, as well as very sensitive lightdetection, we have experimentally generated states of light with thesenon-classical properties. The generated light states were subsequentlyfully characterized by measurement of their density matrices and,equivalently, their Wigner functions. Due to the specific technicalimplementation of the experiment, the non-classical light is directlyapplicable to future demonstrations of light-atom interaction at thequantum level. In the thesis defence, I will present our approach andresults at a fairly basic level, and try to convey the most interestingaspects of the experiments.