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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Natural Sciences legacy departments
Title: Measurement of the coherence length of atomic two-photon radiation
Author(s): Sheikh, Zahoor Ahmad
Issue Date: 1993
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: We report a novel method of determining the coherence length of photons produced in the two-photon decay of metastable atomic deuterium by observing the depolarization of the photons in what is essentially a true single-photon interference experiment. In the Stirling source two photons propagating in the ±z directions are detected in coincidence. The degree of polarization of the radiation emerging from a multiwave plate placed on one side of the source as a function of the optical path difference 6 introduced by the multiwave plate between the orthogonally polarized components is determined by measuring the Stokes' parameters. The results confirm the dependence of the depolarizing effect of the multiwave plate on 6, agree with the quantum mechanical predictions and allow a measurement to be made of the coherence length of single photons of the two-photon pair. We also report the results t>f an experiment which, for the first time, demonstrates the action of an achromatic half-wave plate on the polarization state of the two-photon radiation emitted by atomic deuterium in the metastable 2Sv, state The results agree with the quantum mechanical predictions and confirm the hypothesis of Breit and Teller that the fine and hyperfine interaction play no role in the emission process.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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