Abstract

Entangled photons generated by spontaneous parametric downconversion are ubiquitous in quantum optics. In general, they exhibit a complex spatial photon count distribution. This spatial structure is responsible for seemingly surprising results concerning, e.g., complementarity such as the apparent simultaneous observation of interference fringes V and which-way information D at a double slit, as recently reported by Menzel et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 9314 (2012) [CrossRef]  ]. We implement a complete quantitative model of the SPDC interaction that fully incorporates the effects of crystal anisotropies, phase matching, and the pump beam structure and allows for arbitrary manipulations of the SPDC light in the near and far fields. This enables us to establish an upper bound D2+V21.47 for the experimental parameters reported by Menzel et al. We report new experimental results that agree excellently with these theoretical predictions. The new model enables a detailed quantitative analysis of this surprising result and the fair sampling interpretation of biphotons passing a double slit.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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