Quantum Optics INRIM
Quantum Imaging and Sensing
Quantum metrology deals with improving the resolution of instruments that are otherwise limited by shot noise and it is therefore a promising avenue for enabling scientific breakthroughs. The advantage can be even more striking when quantum enhancement is combined with correlation techniques among several devices. Here, we present and realize a correlation interferometry scheme exploiting bipartite quantum correlated states injected in two independent interferometers. The scheme outperforms classical analogues in detecting a faint signal that may be correlated/uncorrelated between the two devices. We also compare its sensitivity with that obtained for a pair of two independent squeezed modes, each addressed to one interferometer, for detecting a correlated stochastic signal in the MHz frequency band. Being the simpler solution, it may eventually find application to fundamental physics tests, e.g., searching for the effects predicted by some Planck scale theories.
Quantum correlations become formidable tools for beating classical capacities of measurement. Preserving these advantages in practical systems, where experimental imperfections are unavoidable, is a challenge of the utmost importance. Here we propose and realize a quantum ghost imaging protocol stemming from the differential ghost imaging, a scheme elaborated so far in the limit of bright thermal light, particularly suitable in the relevant case of faint or sparse objects. The extension toward the quantum regime represents an important step as quantum correlations allow low-brightness imaging, desirable for reducing the absorption dose. Furthermore, we optimize the protocol in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, to compensate for the detrimental effects of detection noise and losses. We perform the experiment using spontaneous parametric down conversion light in a microscope configuration. The image is reconstructed exploiting nonclassical intensity correlation in the low photon flux regime, rather than photon pairs detection coincidences. On the one side, we validate the theoretical model and on the other we show the applicability of this technique by imaging biological samples.
The final goal of quantum hypothesis testing is to achieve quantum advantage over all possible classical strategies. In the protocol of quantum reading, this is achieved for information retrieval from an optical memory, whose generic cell stores a bit of information in two possible lossy channels. We show, theoretically and experimentally, that quantum advantage is obtained by practical photon-counting measurements combined with a simple maximum-likelihood decision. In particular, we show that this receiver combined with an entangled two-mode squeezed vacuum source is able to outperform any strategy based on statistical mixtures of coherent states for the same mean number of input photons. Our experimental findings demonstrate that quantum entanglement and simple optics are able to enhance the readout of digital data, paving the way to real applications of quantum reading and with potential applications for any other model that is based on the binary discrimination of bosonic loss.