Partially Nondestructive Continuous Detection of Individual Traveling Optical Photons

Mahdi Hosseini, Kristin M. Beck, Yiheng Duan, Wenlan Chen, Vladan Vuletić*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We report the continuous and partially nondestructive measurement of optical photons. For a weak light pulse traveling through a slow-light optical medium (signal), the associated atomic-excitation component is detected by another light beam (probe) with the aid of an optical cavity. We observe strong correlations of gsp(2) = 4.4(5) between the transmitted signal and probe photons. The observed (intrinsic) conditional nondestructive quantum efficiency ranges between 13% and 1% (65% and 5%) for a signal transmission range of 2% to 35%, at a typical time resolution of 2.5 μs. The maximal observed (intrinsic) device nondestructive quantum efficiency, defined as the product of the conditional nondestructive quantum efficiency and the signal transmission, is 0.5% (2.4%). The normalized cross-correlation function violates the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, confirming the nonclassical character of the correlations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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