Progress toward optimal quantum tomography with unbalanced homodyning

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Teo, Y. S.
Jeong, H.
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Amer Physical Soc
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Balanced homodyning, heterodyning, and unbalanced homodyning are three well-known sampling techniques used in quantum optics to characterize photonic sources in the continuous-variable regime. We show that for all quantum states and all observable-parameter tomography schemes, which includes reconstructions of arbitrary operator moments and phase-space quasidistributions, localized sampling with unbalanced homodyning is always tomographically more powerful (gives more accurate estimators) than delocalized sampling with heterodyning. The latter is recently known to often give more accurate parameter reconstructions than conventional marginalized sampling with balanced homodyning. This result also holds for realistic photodetectors with subunit efficiency. With examples from first-through fourth-moment tomography, we demonstrate that unbalanced homodyning can outperform balanced homodyning when heterodyning fails to do so. This new benchmark takes us one step towards optimal continuous-variable tomography with conventional photodetectors and minimal experimental components.
©2017 American Physical Society. The author thanks D. Ahn, Z. Hradil, and J. Rehacek for illuminating discussions. This work was financially supported by the BK21 Plus Program (21A20131111123) funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE; Korea) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), an NRF grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP; Grant No. 2010-0018295), the KIST Institutional Program (Project No. 2E26680-16-P025), and the Spanish MINECO (Grant No. FIS2015-67963-P).