Quantum interference in an asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer

Published in Journal of Optics, 2016

A. Trenti, M. Borghi, M. Mancinelli, H. M. Price, G. Fontana and L. Pavesi
Journal of Optics 18, 085201 (2016)


A re-visitation of the well known free space Mach-Zehnder interferometer is reported here. The coexistence between one-photon and two-photons interference from collinear color entangled photon pairs is investigated. Thisarises from an arbitrarily small unbalance in the arm transmittance. The tuning of such asymmetry is reflected in dramatic changes in the coincidence detection, revealing beatings between one particle and two particle interference patterns. In particular, the role of the losses and of the intrinsic phase imperfectness of the lossy beamsplitter are explored in a single-port excited Mach-Zehnder interferometer. This configuration is especially useful for quantum optics on a chip, where the guiding geometry forces photons to travel in the same spatial mode.