Squeezed states of the electromagnetic field are generated by degenerate parametric downconversion in a sub-threshold optical parametric oscillator. Reductions in photocurrent noise greater than 60% (−4 dB) below the limit set by the vacuum fluctuations of the field are observed in a balanced homodyne detector. A quantitative comparison with theory suggests that the observed noise reductions result from a field that in the absence of avoidable linear attenuation would be squeezed more than tenfold. A degree of squeezing of approximately fivefold is inferred for the actual field emitted through one mirror of the optical parametric oscillator. An explicit demonstration of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for the electromagnetic field is made from the measurements, which show that the field state produced by the downconversion process is a state of minimum uncertainty.
© 1987 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 12, 1987
Manuscript Accepted: July 7, 1987
Published: October 1, 1987
Ling-An Wu, Min Xiao, and H. J. Kimble, "Squeezed states of light from an optical parametric oscillator," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 4, 1465-1475 (1987)