Abstract

Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen (EPR) correlations produced for two-photon entangled wave packets are analyzed by use of optical Wigner functions. In particular, type-II optical parametric downconversion systems are used, and the effects of the length of the crystal and the filter bandwidth on the Wigner functions are studied. The relation between the optical Wigner functions and the interference experiment with a beam splitter is studied. We find that, whereas in first-order correlation experiments (typified, for example, by Young’s interference experiment) the “photon interferes with itself” [P. A. M. Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (Clarendon, Oxford, UK, 1958), p. 9], in the EPR correlations the two-photon amplitude function interferes with itself. Such interference is analyzed by use of the optical Wigner functions.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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