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Experimental amplification of an entangled photon: what if the detection loophole is ignored?

Published in New Journal of Physics. 2011, vol. 13, no. 6, p. 063031
Abstract The experimental verification of quantum features, such as entanglement, at large scales is extremely challenging because of environment-induced decoherence. Indeed, measurement techniques for demonstrating the quantumness of multiparticle systems in the presence of losses are difficult to define and, if not sufficiently accurate, they provide wrong conclusions. We present a Bell test where one photon of an entangled pair is amplified and then detected by threshold detectors, whose signals undergo postselection. The amplification is performed by a classical machine, which produces a fully separable micro-macro state. However, by adopting such a technique, one can surprisingly observe a violation of the CHSH inequality. This is due to the fact that ignoring the detection loophole, opened by the postselection and the system losses, can lead to misinterpretations, such as claiming the micro-macro entanglement in a setup where evidently there is not. By using threshold detectors and postselection, one can only infer the entanglement of the initial pair of photons, so micro-micro entanglement, as it is further confirmed by the violation of a non-separability criterion for bipartite systems. How to detect photonic micro-macro entanglement in the presence of losses with currently available technology remains an open question.
Stable URL http://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:16049
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Deposited on : 2011-06-03

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