From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2018
Photon heterodyning affords the opportunity to single out photon detection events at a designated timing in the otherwise elusive transient interference fringes of single photons. Albeit essentially a time-domain analogue of Young's two-slit interference experiment at a single-photon level, it must be borne out by experiment using true single-photon streams. More importantly, it presents a technical challenge even without a tangible screen unlike space domain. Here, we demonstrate single-photon self-heterodyne beats that are obtained by letting the nonclassical light field associated with a photon interfere with itself. This is made possible by splitting, folding and mapping point-by-point the otherwise only poorly correlated time-series data onto a virtual capture frame.
Photon heterodyning is of significance in view of conceivable applications. In fact, it marks a great step forward in benefiting such applications that handle interfering light fields in the time domain. An unmatched immunity to dc noise at an extremely low light level opens up the avenue for single-photon interferometry and interferometric biometrics of a highly light-sensitive target. Super-resolution and quantum optical coherence tomography, which are based on the nonclassical nature of photons, are those which should take full advantage of the photon heterodyning technology. On the other hand, the potential of photon heterodyning is most likely to be manifest in the field of quantum information processing by implementing frequency-encoded photon states. Some of these examples will be discussed in more detail.
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