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Quantum-to-Classical Transition with Single-Photon-Added Coherent States of Light

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Science  22 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5696, pp. 660-662
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103190

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Abstract

Single-photon–added coherent states are the result of the most elementary amplification process of classical light fields by a single quantum of excitation. Being intermediate between a single-photon Fock state (fully quantum-mechanical) and a coherent (classical) one, these states offer the opportunity to closely follow the smooth transition between the particle-like and the wavelike behavior of light. We report the experimental generation of single-photon–added coherent states and their complete characterization by quantum tomography. Besides visualizing the evolution of the quantum-to-classical transition, these states allow one to witness the gradual change from the spontaneous to the stimulated regimes of light emission.

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