Delayed-choice test of complementarity with single photons

Physics – Quantum Physics

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper


We report an experimental test of complementarity using clock-triggered single-photon pulses emitted by an individual N-V color center in a diamond nanocrystal. The single photons are sent into a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with an output beamsplitter of adjustable reflection coefficient R. In addition, the choice of introducing or removing this beamsplitter is random and relativistically space-like separated from the entering of the photon inside the interferometer, as required for the Wheeler's delayed-choice regime. Each set value of R allows us to observe interference with visibility V and to obtain incomplete which-path information characterized by the distinguishability D. The measured values of V and D are found to obey the complementarity relation V^2 + D^2 =< 1.

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