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.
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.