Monday, April 10, 2017

"Genuine" 3-Photon Interference

I continue to be amazed at the creativity and capability of many of these experiments. This is one such example, and there were two groups that achieved this independently.

Two papers in PRL this week are reporting the first genuine observation of 3-photon interference. This is a purely quantum mechanical effect and not explained by any classical light wave description. In case you are not familiar with the background info that is needed here, the "interference" phenomenon that we are familiar with are really single-photon interference, i.e. one photon capable of making multiple paths and taking multiple slits to produce the interference pattern that we know and love. 2-photon interference has been done and is not that commonly observed. 3-photon interference is even more difficult. That is why this is such a spectacular result coming from 2 different groups.

BTW, this is another experiment that can only be described using the photon picture.


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