We derive a general expression of the expectation value of the parity operator in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer with a Fock state in one input port and an arbitrary state in the other input. We obtain the quantum Crámer–Rao bound via the error propagation method from parity detection for the phase shift around zero. In addition, for an arbitrary state with the same mean photon number, our results show that the same phase resolution and the same phase uncertainty can be obtained for the phase shift around zero. That is to say, when a Mach–Zehnder interferometer is powered by a Fock state into one input port, all quantum states with same mean photon number at the other input may have the same performance in the phase estimation via parity detection. As some specific applications, we consider the arbitrary state being a Fock state, a coherent state, and a squeezed-vacuum state.
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