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Theory of two-photon interference

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Abstract

The interference effects that can be observed in the two output arms of a lossless beam splitter are calculated for incident light in the form of a photon-pair excitation in the two input arms. The output state that occurs when the photon pair is excited in a single input arm resembles that expected for independent classical particles, whereas quantum interference effects occur when the photon pair is divided between the two input arms. Detailed output photocount correlation functions are calculated for two-photon input states produced by a two-atom light source, a degenerate or nondegenerate parametric oscillator in a high-Q cavity, and an atomic cascade emission light source.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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