Direct measurement of the Kirkwood-Rihaczek distribution for the spatial properties of a coherent light beam

Viktor Bollen*, Yong Meng Sua, Kim Fook Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a direct measurement of the Kirkwood-Rihaczek (KR) distribution for spatial properties of a coherent light beam in terms of position and momentum (angle) coordinates. We employ a two-local oscillator (LO) balanced heterodyne detection (BHD) to simultaneously extract the distribution of the transverse position and momentum of a light beam. The two-LO BHD can measure the KR distribution for any complex wave field (including quantum mechanical wave function) without applying tomography methods (inverse Radon transformation). The transformation of the KR distribution to the Wigner, Glauber-Sudarshan P, and Husimi or Q distributions in spatial coordinates are illustrated through experimental data. The KR distribution can provide the local information of a wave field, which is suitable for studying particle properties of a quantum system. Meanwhile, the Wigner function is suitable for studying wave properties such as interference, and hence provides nonlocal information of the wave field. The method developed here can be used for exploring the spatial quantum state for information processing and optical phase-space imaging for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063826
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Volume81
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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