Interferometric visibility and coherence

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2017, 473 (2203)
Issue Date:
2017-07-01
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© 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. Recently, the basic concept of quantum coherence (or superposition) has gained a lot of renewed attention, after Baumgratz et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 140401. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.140401)), following Åberg (http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0612146), have proposed a resource theoretic approach to quantify it. This has resulted in a large number of papers and preprints exploring various coherence monotones, and debating possible forms for the resource theory. Here, we take the view that the operational foundation of coherence in a state, be it quantum or otherwise wave mechanical, lies in the observation of interference effects. Our approach here is to consider an idealized multi-path interferometer, with a suitable detector, in such a way that the visibility of the interference pattern provides a quantitative expression of the amount of coherence in a given probe state. We present a general framework of deriving coherence measures from visibility, and demonstrate it by analysing several concrete visibility parameters, recovering some known coherence measures and obtaining some new ones.
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