What is it about?

Dim light at very low intensity exhibits unique properties: it simultaneously behaves as a wave and a particle. Photons are the smallest indivisible unit of light, described by the theory of quantum physics. Quantum states of light may not even possess a strict number of photons. Instead, their photon number is sampled from a probability distribution determined by the quantum state. We have developed an easy-to-use toolkit for simulating the photon statistics of an important class of quantum states. We have implemented it by using the software framework PyTorch widely employed in the machine learning community.

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Why is it important?

More and more applications arise employing the unusual quantum behavior of photons, such as secure communication, improved optical sensing, or optical computing. Simulating the photon statistics for practical devices allows for improving existing techniques and developing new solutions at the few-photon level. Our simulation method is especially suited to simulate realistic optical setups including imperfections. Thus, it will improve the way photonic devices are developed.

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This page is a summary of: Simulating the photon statistics of multimode Gaussian states by automatic differentiation of generating functions, APL Photonics, February 2023, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0129638.
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