Optimal Phase Measurements with Bright-and Vacuum-Seeded SU (1,1) Interferometers

The SU(1,1) interferometer can be thought of as a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with its linear beam splitters replaced with parametric nonlinear optical processes. We consider the cases of bright- and vacuum-seeded SU(1,1) interferometers using intensity or homodyne detectors. A simplified truncated scheme with only one nonlinear interaction is introduced, which not only beats conventional intensity detection with a bright seed, but can saturate the phase-sensitivity bound set by the quantum Fisher information. We also show that the truncated scheme achieves a sub-shot-noise phase sensitivity in the vacuum-seeded case, despite the phase-sensing optical beams having no well-defined phase.

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