Article

Observation of a "quantum eraser": A revival of coherence in a two-photon interference experiment.

Physical Review A (Impact Factor: 2.99). 07/1992; 45(11):7729-7739. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.45.7729
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have observed an effect known as a quantum eraser, using a setup similar to one previously employed to demonstrate a violation of Bell's inequalities. In this effect, an interfering system is first rendered incoherent by making the alternate Feynman paths which contribute to the overall process distinguishable; with our apparatus this is achieved by placing a half wave plate in one arm of a Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer so as to rotate the polarization of the light in that arm by 90°. This adds information to the system, in that polarization is a new parameter which serves to label the path of a given photon, even after a recombining beam splitter. The quantum ``eraser'' removes this information from the state vector, after the output port of the interferometer, but in time to cause interference effects to reappear upon coincidence detection. For this purpose, we use two polarizers in front of our detectors. We present experimental results showing how the degree of erasure (which determines the visibility of the interference) depends on the relative orientation of the polarizers, along with theoretical curves. In addition, we show how this procedure may do more than merely erase, in that the act of ``pasting together'' two previously distinguishable paths can introduce a new relative phase between them.

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we will first look at a particular quantum eraser setup to show that this type of experiments can be understood in an intuitive manner if we are willing to take a complex nonlinear approach, without the need to invoke Niels Bohr's complementarity or quantum entanglement between two particles. We will then discuss a recent experiment of the same type that does not erase the interference pattern when which-path information is available, and argue that this result is in clear contradiction with the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics but perfectly understandable in the framework of nonlinear quantum physics.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explains the delayed choice quantum eraser of Kim et al. in terms of the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics by John Cramer. It is kept deliberately mathematically simple to help explain the transactional technique. The emphasis is on a clear understanding of how the instantaneous "collapse" of the wave function due to a measurement at a specific time and place may be reinterpreted as a gradual collapse over the entire path of the photon and over the entire transit time from slit to detector. This is made possible by the use of a retarded offer wave, which is thought to travel from the slits (or rather the small region within the parametric crystal where down-conversion takes place) to the detector and an advanced counter wave traveling backward in time from the detector to the slits. The point here is to make clear how simple the Cramer transactional picture is and how much more intuitive the collapse of the wave function becomes if viewed in this way. Also any confusion about possible retro-causal signaling is put to rest. A delayed choice quantum eraser does not require any sort of backward in time communication. This paper makes the point that it is preferable to use the Transactional Interpretation (TI) over the usual Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) for a more intuitive understanding of the quantum eraser delayed choice experiment. Both methods give exactly the same end results and can be used interchangeably.