Adaptive quantum measurements of a continuously varying phase.
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We analyze the problem of quantum-limited estimation of a stochastically varying phase of a continuous beam (rather than a pulse) of the electromagnetic field. We consider both nonadaptive and adaptive measurements, and both dyne detection (using a local oscillator) and interferometric detection. We take the phase variation to be f?=sqrt[?]?(t), where ?(t) is d-correlated Gaussian noise. For a beam of power P, the important dimensionless parameter is N=P/h??, the number of photons per coherence time. For the case of dyne detection, both continuous-wave (cw) coherent beams and cw (broadband) squeezed beams are considered. For a coherent beam a simple feedback scheme gives good results, with a phase variance ?N-1/2/2. This is sqrt times smaller than that achievable by nonadaptive (heterodyne) detection. For a squeezed beam a more accurate feedback scheme gives a variance scaling as N-2/3, compared to N-1/2 for heterodyne detection. For the case of interferometry only a coherent input into one port is considered. The locally optimal feedback scheme is identified, and it is shown to give a variance scaling as N-1/2. It offers a significant improvement over nonadaptive interferometry only for N of order unity.
Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
© 2002 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.