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The physics of thermal light second-order interference beyond coherence

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A novel thermal light interferometer was recently introduced in Ref. [1]. Here, two classically correlated beams, obtained by beam splitting a thermal light beam, propagate through two unbalanced Mach-Zehnder interferometers. Remarkably, second-order interference between the long and the short paths in the two interferometers was predicted independently of how far, in principle, the length difference between the long and short paths is beyond the coherence length of the source. This phenomenon seems to contradict our common understanding of second-order coherence. We provide here a simple description of the physics underlying this effect in terms of two-photon interference.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124010
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Tamma_2018_Phys._Scr._10.1088_1402-4896_aae71c

    Rights statement: This Accepted Manuscript is available for reuse under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence after the 12 month embargo period provided that all the terms of the licence are adhered to.

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

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