Hanbury Brown–Twiss Effect with Wave Packets

Tabish Qureshi, Ushba Rizwan


The Hanbury Brown–Twiss (HBT) effect, at the quantum level, is essentially an interference of one particle with another, as opposed to interference of a particle with itself. Conventional treatments of identical particles encounter difficulties while dealing with entanglement. A recently introduced label-free approach to indistinguishable particles is described, and is used to analyze the HBT effect. Quantum wave-packets have been used to provide a better understanding of the quantum interpretation of the HBT effect. The effect is demonstrated for two independent particles governed by Bose–Einstein or Fermi–Dirac statistics. The HBT effect is also analyzed for pairs of entangled particles. Surprisingly, entanglement has almost no effect on the interference seen in the HBT effect. In the light of the results, an old quantum optics experiment is reanalyzed, and it is argued that the interference seen in that experiment is not a consequence of non-local correlations between the photons, as is commonly believed.

Quanta 2017; 6: 61–69.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12743/quanta.v6i1.66

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