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Journal Article

Classical model of spontaneous parametric down-conversion


Chekhova,  Maria V.
Chekhova Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg;

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Kulkarni, G., Rioux, J., Braverman, B., Chekhova, M. V., & Boyd, R. W. (2022). Classical model of spontaneous parametric down-conversion. Physical Review Research. doi:10.1103/PhysRevResearch.4.033098.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-D2E0-B
We model spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) as classical difference frequency generation (DFG) of the pump field and a hypothetical stochastic “vacuum” seed field. We analytically show that the second-order spatiotemporal correlations of the field generated from the DFG process replicate those of the signal field from SPDC. Specifically, for low gain, the model is consistent with the quantum calculation of the signal photon’s reduced density matrix; and for high gain, the model’s predictions are in good agreement with our experimental measurements of the far-field intensity profile, orbital angular momentum spectrum, and wavelength spectrum of the SPDC field for increasing pump strengths. We further theoretically show that the model successfully captures second-order SU(1,1) interference and induced coherence effects in both gain regimes. Intriguingly, the model also correctly predicts the linear scaling of the interference visibility with object transmittance in the low-gain regime—a feature that is often regarded as a quintessential signature of the nonclassicality of induced coherence. Our model may not only lead to fundamental insights into the classical-quantum divide in the context of SPDC and induced coherence, but can also be a useful theoretical tool for numerous experiments and applications based on SPDC.