Optical estimation of unitary Gaussian processes without phase reference using Fock states

Changhun Oh*, Kimin Park, Radim Filip, Hyunseok Jeong, Petr Marek

*Corresponding author for this work

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Since a general Gaussian process is phase-sensitive, a stable phase reference is required to take advantage of this feature. When the reference is missing, either due to the volatile nature of the measured sample or the measurement’s technical limitations, the resulting process appears as random in phase. Under this condition, we consider two single-mode Gaussian processes, displacement and squeezing. We show that these two can be efficiently estimated using photon number states and photon number resolving detectors. For separate estimation of displacement and squeezing, the practical estimation errors for hundreds of probes’ ensembles can saturate the Cramér–Rao bound even for arbitrary small values of the estimated parameters and under realistic losses. The estimation of displacement with Fock states always outperforms estimation using Gaussian states with equivalent energy and optimal measurement. For estimation of squeezing, Fock states outperform Gaussian methods, but only when their energy is large enough. Finally, we show that Fock states can also be used to estimate the displacement and the squeezing simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123039
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number12
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Quantum metrology
  • Quantum optics
  • Optical sensing


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