The insights offered by quantum mechanics to the field of optical metrology are many-fold, with non-classical states of light themselves used to make sensors that surpass the sensitivity of sensors using classical states of light. Unfortunately, this advantage, referred to often as "super-sensitivity" is notoriously fragile, and even the slightest experimental imperfections may greatly reduce the efficacy of the non-classical sensors, sometimes completely obviating their advantage. In my thesis I have shown that the performance of an otherwise ideal two-photon interferometer, which exploits entanglement between photons to make super-sensitive measurements of phase, is crippled by the slightest introduction of decoherence between modes of the interferometer. I have shown further that such drastic reduction in sensitivity can also appear in classical measurement problems, specifically that the recently developed methods of estimating the separation between a pair of point sources are rendered less effective when the ideal assumption of complete spatial incoherence is relaxed. Towards overcoming these and other issues, I have designed new configurations that use ancillary optical degrees of freedom, a tool-set that has recently garnered much interest in the field of quantum optics. In the context of two-photon interferometry, I have shown that by coupling polarization to the spatial-structure of the two photon state used to probe phase it is possible to obviate the need for a reference phase, even in the context of decoherence and imperfections in the interferometer. In the context of two-point resolution, I have developed an anisotropic imaging system that performs the function of an image-inversion interferometer and is inherently stable, offering an attractive implementation of recently developed methods of sub-Rayleigh imaging. I have further shown both theoretically and experimentally that the same anisotropic image-inversion interferometer is useful in measuring spatially encoded phases, both in the context of classical illumination as well as quantum-aided two-photon super-sensing. In both cases, the ability to perform interferometric measurements of the spatial structure of an electric field without splitting beam paths forms a bridge between conception and implementation of precision-sensing measurement strategies. Finally, I have shown that binary interferometric method based on the common-path anisotropic imaging system that I introduced, are able to measure both phase gradients and transverse beam tilts with a sensitivity beating conventional systems that are used both commercially and in research laboratories.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Larson, Walker, "Multi-parameter Optical Metrology: Quantum and Classical" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 84.