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Optimal phase measurements in a lossy Mach-Zehnder interferometer

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posted on 2023-02-26, 22:20 authored by Wenfeng Huang, Xinyun Liang, Chun-Hua Yuan, Weiping Zhang, Liqing Chen
In this work, we discuss two phase-measurement methods for the Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) in the presence of internal losses and give the corresponding optimum conditions. We find theoretically that when the core parameters (reflectivities, phase difference) are optimized, the phase sensitivity of the two methods can reach a generalized bound on precision: standard interferometric limit (SIL). In the experiment, we design an MZI with adjustable beam splitting ratios and losses to verify phase sensitivity optimization. The sensitivity improvements at loss rates from 0.4 to 0.998 are demonstrated based on difference-intensity detection, matching the theoretical results well. With a loss up to 0.998 in one arm, we achieve a sensitivity improvement of 2.5 dB by optimizing reflectivity, which equates to a 5.5 dB sensitivity improvement in single-intensity detection. Such optimal phase measurement methods provide practical solutions for the correct use of resources in lossy interferometry.

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