Discrimination of optical coherent states using a photon number resolving detector

C. Wittmann, Ulrik Lund Andersen, G. Leuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The discrimination of non-orthogonal quantum states with reduced or without errors is a fundamental task in quantum measurement theory. In this work, we investigate a quantum measurement strategy capable of discriminating two coherent states probabilistically with significantly smaller error probabilities than can be obtained using non-probabilistic state discrimination. We find that appropriate postselection of the measurement data of a photon number resolving detector can be used to discriminate two coherent states with small error probability. We compare our new receiver to an optimal intermediate measurement between minimum error discrimination and unambiguous state discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Modern Optics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)213-217
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • quantum state discrimination
  • quantum information
  • quantum receivers

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