Europhys. Lett.
Volume 68, Number 5, December 2004
Page(s) 618 - 624
Section General
Published online 05 November 2004
Europhys. Lett., 68 (5), pp. 618-624 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10280-8

Two-photon interference with thermal light

G. Scarcelli, A. Valencia and Y. Shih

Department of Physics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore, MD 21250, USA

received 23 July 2004; accepted in final form 12 October 2004
published online 5 November 2004

The study of entangled states has greatly improved the basic understanding about two-photon interferometry. Two-photon interference is not the interference of two photons but the result of superposition among indistinguishable two-photon amplitudes. The concept of two-photon amplitude, however, has generally been restricted to the case of entangled photons. In this letter we report an experimental study that may extend this concept to the general case of independent photons. The experiment also shows interesting practical applications regarding the possibility of obtaining high-resolution interference patterns with thermal sources.

03.65.-w - Quantum mechanics.
42.50.Xa - Optical tests of quantum theory.

© EDP Sciences 2004