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Single-photon wavefront-splitting interference. An illustration of the light quantum in action

V. Jacques, E Wu, T. Toury, F. Treussart, A. Aspect, P. Grangier and J.-F. Roch, Eur. Phys. J. D 35, 561 (2005)

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We present a new realization of the textbook experiment consisting in single-photon interference based on the pulsed, optically excited photoluminescence of a single colour centre in a diamond nanocrystal. Interferences are created by wavefront-splitting with a Fresnel's biprism and observed by registering the "single-photon clicks" with an intensified CCD camera. This imaging detector provides also a real-time movie of the build-up of the single-photon fringes. We perform a second experiment with two detectors sensitive to photons that follow either one or the other interference path. Evidence for single photon behaviour is then obtained from the absence of time coincidence between detections in these two paths.

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