Abstract

Discriminating between Fock states with a high degree of accuracy is a desirable feature for modern applications of optical quantum information processing. A well-known alternative to sophisticated photon number discriminating detectors is to split the field among a number of simple on/off detectors and infer the desired quantity from the measurement results. In this work we find an explicit analytical expression of the detection probability for any number of input photons, any number of on/off detectors, and we include quantum efficiency and a false count probability. This allows us to explicitly invert the conditional probability using Bayes’ theorem and express the number of photons that we had at the input in the most unbiased way possible with ready-to-use formulas. We conclude with some examples.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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Equations (18)

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