Thursday, January 21, 2010

Implementation of a non-deterministic optical noiseless amplifier

By Franck Ferreyrol, Marco Barbieri, Remi Blandino, Simon Fossier, Rosa Tualle-Brouri, Philippe Grangier

Quantum mechanics imposes that any amplifier that works independently on the phase of the input signal has to introduce some excess noise. The impossibility of such a noiseless amplifier is rooted into unitarity and linearity of quantum evolution. A possible way to circumvent this limitation is to interrupt such evolution via a measurement, providing a random outcome able to herald a successful - and noiseless - amplification event. Here we show a successful realisation of such an approach; we perform a full characterization of an amplified coherent state using quantum homodyne tomography, and observe a strong heralded amplification, with about 6dB gain and a noise level significantly smaller than the minimal allowed for any ordinary phase-independent device.