A naturally stable Sagnac-Michelson nonlinear interferometer
by Joseph M. Lukens, Nicholas A. Peters, Raphael C. Pooser
Researchers have developed a new type of nonlinear interferotmer which is naturally stable.
Interferometers measure a wide variety of dynamic processes by converting a phase change into an intensity change. Nonlinear interferometers, making use of nonlinear media in lieu of beamsplitters, promise substantial improvement in the quest to reach the ultimate sensitivity limits. Here we demonstrate a new nonlinear interferometer utilizing a single parametric amplifier for mode mixing---conceptually, a nonlinear version of the conventional Michelson interferometer with its arms collapsed together. We observe up to 99.9% interference visibility and find evidence for noise reduction based on phase-sensitive gain. Our configuration utilizes fewer components than previous demonstrations and requires no active stabilization, offering new capabilities for practical nonlinear interferometric-based sensors.