Characterizing an entangled-photon source with classical detectors and measurements

Lee A. Rozema*, Chao Wang, Dylan H. Mahler, Alex Hayat, Aephraim M. Steinberg, John E. Sipe, Marco Liscidini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Entangled-photon pairs are essential for many applications in quantum computation and communication, and quantum state tomography (QST) is the universal tool to characterize such entangled-photon sources. In QST, very low-power signals must be measured with single-photon detectors and coincidence logic. Here, we experimentally implement a new protocol, “stimulated-emission tomography” (SET), allowing us to obtain the information provided by QST when the photon pairs are generated by parametric fluorescence. This approach exploits a stimulated process that results in a signal several orders of magnitude larger than in QST. In particular, we characterize the polarization state of photons that would be generated in spontaneous parametric downconversion using SET. We find that SET accurately predicts the purity and concurrence of the spontaneously generated photons in agreement with the results of QST. We expect that SET will be extremely useful to characterize entanglement sources based on parametric fluorescence, providing a fast and efficient technique to potentially replace or supplement QST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-433
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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