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# Entanglement of macroscopically distinct states of light

preprint

posted on 2023-11-29, 05:01 authored by Demid V. Sychev, Valeriy A. Novikov, Khurram K. Pirov, Christoph Simon, A. I. LvovskySchr\"odinger's famous Gedankenexperiment has inspired multiple generations of physicists to think about apparent paradoxes that arise when the logic of quantum physics is applied to macroscopic objects. The development of quantum technologies enabled us to produce physical analogues of Schr\"odinger's cats, such as superpositions of macroscopically distinct states as well as entangled states of microscopic and macroscopic entities. Here we take one step further and prepare an optical state which, in Schr\"odinger's language, is equivalent to a superposition of two cats, one of which is dead and the other alive, but it is not known in which state each individual cat is. Specifically, the alive and dead states are, respectively, the displaced single photon and displaced vacuum (coherent state), with the magnitude of displacement being on a scale of $10^8$ photons. These two states have significantly different photon statistics and are therefore macroscopically distinguishable.