Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

Document Type



This dissertation serves as a general introduction to Wigner functions, phase space, and quantum metrology but also strives to be useful as a how-to guide for those who wish to delve into the realm of using continuous variables, to describe quantum states of light and optical interferometry. We include many of the introductory elements one needs to appreciate the advantages of this treatment as well as show many examples in an effort to make this dissertation more friendly. In the initial segment of this dissertation, we focus on the advantages of Wigner functions and their use to describe many quantum states of light. We focus on coherent states and squeezed vacuum with a Mach Zehnder Interferometer for many of our examples, also used by experiments such as advanced LIGO. Later, we will also analyze this setup in more detail with a full example including the effects of many noise sources such as phase drift, photon loss, inefficient detectors, and thermal noise. In this setup, we also show the optimal measurement scheme, which is currently not employed in experiment. Throughout our metrology discussions, we will also discuss various quantum limits and use quantum Fisher information to show optimal bounds. When applicable, we also discuss the use of quantum Gaussian information and how it relates to our Wigner function treatment. The remainder of our discussion focuses on investigating the effects of photon addition and subtraction to various states of light and analyze the nondeterministic nature of this process. We use examples of m photon additions to a coherent state as well as discuss the properties of an m photon subtracted thermal state. We also provide an argument that this process must always be a nondeterministic one, or the ability to violate quantum limits becomes apparent. We show that using phase measurement as one's metric is much more restrictive, which limits the usefulness of photon addition and subtraction. When we consider SNR however, we show improved SNR statistics, at the cost of increased measurement time. In this case of SNR, we also quantify the efficiency of the photon addition and subtraction process.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lee, Hwang