Despite being very influential on both foundations and applications of quantum mechanics, weak values are still somewhat controversial. Although there are some indications that weak values are physical properties of a single quantum system, the common way weak values are presented is statistical: it is commonly believed that for measuring weak values one has to perform many weak measurements over a large ensemble of pre- and postselected particles. Other debates surround the anomalous nature of weak value and even their quantumness. To address these issues, we present some preliminary data showing that anomalous weak values can be measured using just a single detection, i.e. with no statistics. In our experiment, a single click of a detector indicates the weak value as a single photon property, which moreover lies well beyond the range of eigenvelues of the measured operator. Importantly, the uncertainty with which the weak values is measured is smaller than the difference between the weak value and the closet eigenvalue. This is the first experimental realization of robust weak measurements.
Weak value measurements have been a real breakthrough in the quantum measurement framework. In particular, quantum measurements may take advantage by anomalous weak values, i.e. values out of the eigenvalues spectrum of the measured observable, both for implementing new measurement techniques and studying Quantum Mechanics foundations. In this report we show three experiments with single photons presenting anomalous weak values: the first one tests the incompatibility between quantum mechanics and noncontextual hidden variables theories, the second one is the first realization of a sequential weak value evaluation of two incompatible observables on the same photon, and the last one shows how sequential weak values can be used to test Leggett-Garg inequalities extended to multiple-measurements scenarios.
In quantum mechanics, the eigenvalues and their corresponding probabilities specify the expectation value of a physical observable, which is known to be a statistical property related to large ensembles of particles. In contrast to this paradigm, we demonstrate a unique method allowing to extract the expectation value of a single particle, namely, the polarisation of a single protected photon, with a single experiment. This is the first realisation of quantum protective measurements.
We present some Quantum Tomography related results recently obtained in the Quantum Optics labs of the National Institute of Metrological Research (INRIM). Initially we describe the first experimental implementation of a new protocol for the reconstruction of a photon-number-resolving (PNR) detector’s POVM (Positive Operator-Valued Measure): such a protocol, exploiting the strong quantum correlations of an ancillary state, results more robust and efficient than its classical counterparts. The second part of the paper focuses on the quantum characterization of a transition-edge sensor (TES) based PNR detector, i.e. the experimental tomography of the POVM of a TES, with a method based on a quorum of coherent probes: we show the reconstruction of the POVM elements up to 11 detected photons and 100 incoming photons, demonstrating the linearity of such a device. Finally, we present a method for the experimental reconstruction of the modal structure of multimode optical fields exploiting a single measurement of higher-order photon number autocorrelation functions. We show our reconstructions of up to three different modes per optical state, demonstrating the excellent agreement with the theoretical predictions and the robustness of our method itself.
With the recent progresses in quantum technologies, single photon sources have gained a primary relevance. Here we present a heralded single photon source characterized by an extremely low level of noise photons, realized by exploiting low-jitter electronics and detectors and fast custom-made electronics used to control an optical shutter (a LiNbO3 waveguide optical switch) at the output of the source. This single photon source showed a second-order autocorrelation function g(2)(0) = 0:005(7), and an Output Noise Factor (defined as the ratio of noise photons to total photons at the source output) of 0:25(1)%, among the best ever achieved.
We discuss a scheme for a photon-counting detection system that overcomes the difficulties of photon-counting at high
rates at telecom wavelengths. Our method uses an array of N detectors and a 1-by-N optical switch with a control circuit
to direct input light to live detectors. We conclude that in addition to detection deadtime reduction, the multiplexed
switch also reduces so-called trigger deadtime, common to infrared photon counting detectors. By implementing the new
algorithm we obtain an overall deadtime reduction of a factor of 5 when using just N=2 multiplexed detectors. In
addition to deadtime reduction, our scheme reduces afterpulsing and background counts (such as dark counts). We
present experimental results showing the advantage of our system as compared to passive multi-detector detection
systems and our previous active multiplexing system that only reduced detection deadtime.
In this paper we will present some experimental researches about Quantum Communication performed in "Carlo Novero" Quantum Optics laboratory at INRiM (former IEN). After a general review of our studies, we will describe our recent researches on propagation of polarization entangled photons in optical fibres focused on the investigation of the effect of two-photon interference in the second-order Glauber's correlation function and on the characterization of this quantum channel as a Complete Positive (CP) map. We will then describe an innovative method, based on detectors operating in Geiger mode (on/off), for reconstructing the photon statistics of quantum optical states, presenting experimental data collected to test the extension of this method to multi-partite states.