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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 20 — Sep. 29, 2008
  • pp: 16005–16012

Measuring optical tunneling times using a Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer

D. J. Papoular, P. Cladé, S. V. Polyakov, C. F. McCormick, A. L. Migdall, and P. D. Lett  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 20, pp. 16005-16012 (2008)

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We report a prediction for the delay measured in an optical tunneling experiment using Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) interference, taking into account the Goos-Hänchen shift generalized to frustrated total internal reflection situations. We precisely state assumptions under which the tunneling delay measured by an HOM interferometer can be calculated. We show that, under these assumptions, the measured delay is the group delay, and that it is apparently ‘superluminal’ for sufficiently thick air gaps. We also show how an HOM signal with multiple minima can be obtained, and that the shape of such a signal is not appreciably affected by the presence of the optical tunneling zone, thus ruling out the explanation of the anomalously short tunneling delays in terms of a reshaping of the wavepacket as it goes through the tunneling zone. Finally, we compare the predicted tunneling delay to a relevant classical delay and conclude that our predictions involve no non-causal effect.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.0030) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence and statistical optics
(260.6970) Physical optics : Total internal reflection

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: August 12, 2008
Revised Manuscript: September 9, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: September 10, 2008
Published: September 24, 2008

D. J. Papoular, P. Clade, S. V. Polyakov, C. F. McCormick, A. L. Migdall, and P. D. Lett, "Measuring optical tunneling times using a Hong-Ou-Mandel interferometer," Opt. Express 16, 16005-16012 (2008)

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