Experimental realization of a nondeterministic optical noiseless amplifier
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Linear amplifiers are necessarily affected by a minimal amount of noise, which is needed in order to preserve the linearity and the unitarity prescribed by quantum mechanics. Such a limitation might be partially overcome if the process is realized by conditioning its operation on a trigger event, for instance, the result of a measurement. Here we present a detailed analysis of a noiseless amplifier, implemented using linear optics, a down-conversion-based single-photon source, and single-photon detection. Our results demonstrate an amplification adding a level of noise lower than the minimum allowed by quantum mechanics for deterministic amplifiers. This is made possible by the nondeterministic character of our device, whose success rate is sufficiently low not to violate any fundamental limit. We compare our experimental data to a model taking into account the main imperfections of the setup and find a good agreement.
Physical Review A
© 2011 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Quantum Information, Computation and Communication
Quantum Physics not elsewhere classified