Measurement of photon indistinguishability to a quantifiable uncertainty using a Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer

Peter J. Thomas, Jessica Y. Cheung, Christopher J. Chunnilall, Malcolm Harry Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We present a method for using the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) interference technique to quantify photon indistinguishability within an associated uncertainty. The method allows the relative importance of various experimental factors affecting the HOM visibility to be identified, and enables the actual indistinguishability, with an associated uncertainty, to be estimated from experimentally measured quantities. A measurement equation has been derived that accounts for the non-ideal performance of the interferometer. The origin of each term of the equation is explained, along with procedures for their experimental evaluation and uncertainty estimation. These uncertainties are combined to give an overall uncertainty for the derived photon indistinguishability. The analysis was applied to measurements from an interferometer sourced with photon pairs from a parametric downconversion process. The measured photon indistinguishably was found to be 0.954 +/- 0.036 by using the prescribed method. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2173-2182
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2010




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