Abstract

Classical entanglement refers to non-separable correlations between the polarization direction and the polarization amplitude of a light field. The degree of entanglement is quantified by the Schmidt number, taking the value of unity for a separable state and two for a maximally entangled state. We propose two detection methods to determine this number based on the distinguishable patterns of interference between four light sources derived from the unknown laser beam to be detected. The second method, being a modification of the first one, has interference fringes with discernable angles uniquely related to the entangled state. The maximally entangled state corresponds to fringes symmetric about the diagonal axis at either a 45° or a 135° direction, while the separable state corresponds to fringes symmetric about either the $X$ or $Y$ axis, or both simultaneously. States with Schmidt number between unity and two have fringes of symmetric angles between these two extremes. We believe these detection methods would be beneficial in both computation and communications applications of the classically entangled states.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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