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Experimental demonstration of optimal unambiguous state discrimination

Clarke, Roger B.M. and Chefles, Anthony and Barnett, Stephen M. and Riis, Erling (2001) Experimental demonstration of optimal unambiguous state discrimination. Physical Review A, 63 (4). 040305-1-040305-4. ISSN 1094-1622

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We present a full demonstration of unambiguous state discrimination between nonorthogonal quantum states. Using a free-space interferometer we have realized the optimum quantum measurement scheme for two nonorthogonal states of light, known as the Ivanovic-Dieks-Peres (IDP) measurement. We have gained access to all three possible outcomes of this measurement. All aspects of this generalized measurement scheme, including its superiority over a standard von Neumann measurement, have been demonstrated within 1.5% of the IDP predictions.