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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Mar 3;96(8):083601. Epub 2006 Feb 27.

Filtering out photonic Fock states.

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  • 1Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Wien, Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Unprecedented optical nonlinearities can be generated probabilistically in simple linear-optical networks conditioned on specific measurement outcomes. We describe a highly controllable quantum filter for photon number states, which takes advantage of such a measurement-induced amplitude nonlinearity. The basis for this filter is multiphoton nonclassical interference which we demonstrate for one- and two-photon states over a wide range of beam splitter reflectivities. Specifically, we show that the transmission probability, conditional on a specific measurement outcome, can be larger for a two-photon state than a one-photon state; this is not possible with linear optics alone.

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