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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Jun 28;110(26):260501. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Beating the one-half limit of ancilla-free linear optics Bell measurements.

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  • 1Optical Quantum Information Theory Group, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, G√ľnther-Scharowsky-Strasse 1/Bau 24, 91058 Erlangen, Germany.


We show that optically encoded two-qubit Bell states can be unambiguously discriminated with a success probability of more than 50% in both single-rail and dual-rail encodings by using active linear-optical resources that include Gaussian squeezing operations. These results are in contrast to the well-known upper bound of 50% for unambiguous discrimination of dual-rail Bell states using passive, static linear optics and arbitrarily many vacuum modes. We present experimentally feasible schemes that improve the success probability to 64.3% in dual-rail and to 62.5% in single-rail for a uniform random distribution of Bell states. Conceptually, this demonstrates that neither interactions that induce nonlinear mode transformations (such as Kerr interactions) nor auxiliary entangled photons are required to go beyond the one-half limit. We discuss the optimality of our single-rail scheme and talk about an application of our dual-rail scheme in quantum communication.

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