Nondemolition measurement of the vacuum state or its complement

Daniel K. L. Oi, Vaclav Potocek, John Jeffers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Measurement is integral to quantum information processing and communication; it is how information encoded in the state of a system is transformed into classical signals for further use. In quantum optics, measurements are typically destructive, so that the state is not available afterwards for further steps. Here we show how to measure the presence or absence of the vacuum in a quantum optical field without destroying the state, implementing the ideal projections onto the respective subspaces. This not only enables sequential measurements, useful for quantum communication, but it can also be adapted to create novel states of light via bare raising and lowering operators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210504
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2013


  • atoms
  • single photons
  • quantum optics


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