We consider the phase sensing via a weak optical coherent state at quantum limit precision. A detection scheme for the phase estimation is proposed, which is inspired by the suboptimal quantum measurement in coherent optical communication. We theoretically analyze a performance of our detection scheme, which we call the displaced-photon counting, for phase sensing in terms of the Fisher information and show that the displaced-photon counting outperforms the static homodyne and heterodyne detections in a wide range of the target phase. The proof-of-principle experiment is performed with linear optics and a superconducting nanowire single-photon detector. The result shows that our scheme overcomes the limit of the ideal homodyne measurement, even under practical imperfections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas