Abstract

We report on criteria to detect entanglement between the light modes of two crossed optical cavities by analyzing the transverse deflection patterns of an atomic beam. The photon exchange between the modes and atoms occurs around the overlapping nodes of associated standing waves, which generates the two-dimensional (2D) version of the Optical Stern–Gerlach (OSG) effect. In this optical cross-cavity setup, we show that the discrete signatures of the field states, left in the momentum distribution of the deflected atoms, may reveal entanglement for a certain class of two-mode states. For a single photon, we present the possibility of quantifying entanglement by the rotation of the momentum distribution. For a larger number of photons, we demonstrate that quantum interference precludes the population of specific momentum states revealing maximum entanglement between the light modes.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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