Group-velocity dispersion (GVD) places a fundamental limitation on the resolution possible when measuring the propagation time of short optical pulses through dielectric media. We show that due to a nonlocal, quantum-mechanical effect, a surprising cancellation can occur in fourth-order interference, allowing the time interval between photons emitted in spontaneous parametric down-conversion to be measured without significant degradation of the resolution due to the spreading of the individual photon wave packets. This may also prove useful for measuring the higher-order contributions to GVD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics