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PhD Defense - Yu Zhou

Yu successfully defended his PhD dissertation on November 19, 2010.

Multiphoton Coherence of Thermal Light

Multiparticle interference is one of the most surprising consequences of quantum mechanics. In quantum theory, interference happens between different yet indistinguishable probability amplitudes. Probability amplitudes can be nonlocal when they are connected with systems including several particles. The interference between these nonlocal probability amplitudes sometimes can only be understood by quantum theory. In this dissertation, the multiphoton coherence of thermal light is studied, theoretically and experimentally, as the consequence of interference between nonlocal probability amplitudes. The study showed that the higher order correlation functions of thermal light had higher contrast compared with the lower order correlation functions. For example, the contrast of the Nth order correlation function of thermal light can reach N!:1. This is because in higher order correlation functions there are more cross terms from interference that contribute to the correlation peak. In this dissertation, the high contrast property is employed to increase the contrast of thermal light ghost imaging. An experiment showed that the contrast of the third order ghost image is significantly improved compared with that of the second order ghost image.