A two-photon state can be selected by coincidence detection of photon pairs created in parametric downconversion. We demonstrate a reduction in the coincidence-count rate when pairs of photons are combined in a beam splitter. This reduction occurs only when photon wave functions overlap and can permit accurate (subpicosecond) relative timing measurements. We relate the width of the coincidence reduction to the bandwidth of the downconverted light and thence to the detailed phase-matching conditions in the parametric downconversion crystal. We also demonstrate that the loss of coincidences is associated with an increased probability of detection of photon pairs in each output of the beam splitter.
© 1989 Optical Society of America
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