We report the experimental realization of first- and second-order optical stochastic interferometry with single-photon Fock states and with a couple of photons generated by spontaneous parametric downconversion. The behavior of the constitutive element of the stochastic interferometer, the stochastic beam splitter, is theoretically described, both for first- and second-order interferometry. The theory predicts a reduction of the visibility from 1 to π/4 and to 1/2, respectively, for the two cases. These results are a direct consequence of the presence of Bose–Einstein correlations within the electromagnetic field. The visibility reduction obtained in the two experiments and their comparison with theoretical predictions are discussed in detail.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Francesco De Martini, Paolo Mataloni, Giovanni Di Giuseppe, and Fabrizio Altarelli, "Stochastic quantum interferometry with Fock states," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 1009-1018 (2002)