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Multi-mode Gaussian State Analysis with Total Photon Counting



Arik Avagyan, Scott Glancy, Emanuel Knill


The continuing improvement in the qualities of photon-number-resolving (PNR) detectors opens new possibilities for measuring quantum states of light. In this work we consider the question of what properties of an arbitrary multi-mode Gaussian state are determined by a single PNR detector that measures total-photon number. We find an answer to this question in the ideal case where the exact photon-number probabilities are known. We show that the quantities determined by the total-photon-number distribution are the spectrum of the covariance matrix, the absolute displacement in each eigenspace of the covariance matrix, and nothing else. In the case of pure Gaussian states, the spectrum determines the squeezing parameters.
Journal of Physics B


quantum optics, quantum tomography


Avagyan, A. , Glancy, S. and Knill, E. (2023), Multi-mode Gaussian State Analysis with Total Photon Counting, Journal of Physics B, [online],, (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created July 11, 2023, Updated July 12, 2023