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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Mar 26;104(12):123603. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Implementation of a nondeterministic optical noiseless amplifier.

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  • 1Groupe d'Optique Quantique, Laboratoire Charles Fabry, Institut d'Optique, CNRS, Universit√© Paris-Sud, Campus Polytechnique, RD 128, 91127 Palaiseau cedex, France.


Quantum mechanics imposes that any amplifier that works independently on the phase of the input signal has to introduce some excess noise. The impossibility of such a noiseless amplifier is rooted in the unitarity and linearity of quantum evolution. A possible way to circumvent this limitation is to interrupt such evolution via a measurement, providing a random outcome able to herald a successful-and noiseless-amplification event. Here we show a successful realization of such an approach; we perform a full characterization of an amplified coherent state using quantum homodyne tomography, and observe a strong heralded amplification, with about a 6 dB gain and a noise level significantly smaller than the minimal allowed for any ordinary phase-independent device.

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