Abstract

In this contribution we analyze virtual-state spectroscopy—a unique tool for extracting information about the virtual states that contribute to the two-photon excitation of an absorbing medium—as implemented by means of intense entangled beams with tunable spectral correlations. We provide a thorough description of all contributing terms (classical and quantum) in the two-photon absorption signal, as well as the limits imposed by the power of the pump that produces the entangled beams on the observability of the spectral lines of the virtual transitions. We find that virtual-state spectroscopy may be implemented with entangled twin beams carrying up to 104 photon pairs. This implies that, in principle, one might be able to detect two-photon absorption signals up to four orders of magnitude larger than previously reported, thus paving the way towards the first experimental realization of the virtual-state spectroscopy technique.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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