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Open AccessArticle

From Stochastic Optics to the Wigner Formalism: The Role of the Vacuum Field in Optical Quantum Communication Experiments

1
Departamento de Física Aplicada III, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Sevilla, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
2
Grupo de Ingeniería Térmica e Instrumentación, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atoms 2019, 7(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/atoms7030076
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 28 July 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stochastic Electrodynamics)
The Wigner formalism in the Heisenberg picture constitutes a bridge that connects Quantum Optics to Stochastic Optics. The vacuum field appears explicitly in the formalism, and the wavelike aspects of light are emphasised. In addition, the zeropoint intensity as a threshold for detection is a common denominator in both theories. In this paper, after summarising the basic rules of the Wigner approach and its application to parametric down-conversion, some new results are presented that delve into the physical meaning of the zeropoint field in optical quantum communication. Specifically, the relationship between Bell-state distinguishability and the number of sets of zeropoint modes that take part in the experiment is analysed in terms of the coupling between the phases of the different fields involved and the subtraction of the zeropoint intensity at the detectors. Additionally, the connection between the compatibility theorem in quantum cryptography and zeropoint field is stressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: stochastic electrodynamics; Wigner representation; zeropoint field; parametric down-conversion; entanglement; quantum communication; Bell-state measurement stochastic electrodynamics; Wigner representation; zeropoint field; parametric down-conversion; entanglement; quantum communication; Bell-state measurement
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Casado, A.; Guerra, S.; Plácido, J. From Stochastic Optics to the Wigner Formalism: The Role of the Vacuum Field in Optical Quantum Communication Experiments. Atoms 2019, 7, 76.

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