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Optical quantum-nondemolition devices can provide essential tools for quantum information processing. Here, we describe several optical interferometers that signal the presence of a single photon in a particular input state without destroying it. We discuss both entanglement-assisted and nonentanglement-assisted interferometers, with ideal and realistic detectors. We found that the existing detectors with 88% quantum efficiency and single-photon resolution can yield output fidelities of up to 89%, depending on the input state. Furthermore, we construct expanded protocols to perform quantum-nondemolition detections of single photons that leave the polarization invariant. For detectors with 88% efficiency, we found polarization-preserving output fidelities of up to 98.5%. © 2002 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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