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Science. 2004 Oct 22;306(5696):660-2.

Quantum-to-classical transition with single-photon-added coherent states of light.

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Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, Largo Enrico Fermi, 6, I-50125, Florence, Italy.


Single-photon-added coherent states are the result of the most elementary amplification process of classical light fields by a single quantum of excitation. Being intermediate between a single-photon Fock state (fully quantum-mechanical) and a coherent (classical) one, these states offer the opportunity to closely follow the smooth transition between the particle-like and the wavelike behavior of light. We report the experimental generation of single-photon-added coherent states and their complete characterization by quantum tomography. Besides visualizing the evolution of the quantum-to-classical transition, these states allow one to witness the gradual change from the spontaneous to the stimulated regimes of light emission.

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