On the response of quantum linear systems to single photon input fields

Guofeng Zhang, Matthew R. James

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to extend linear systems and signals theory to include single photon quantum signals. We provide detailed results describing how quantum linear systems respond to multichannel single photon quantum signals. In particular, we characterize the class of states (which we call photon-Gaussian states) that result when multichannel photons are input to a quantum linear system. We show that this class of quantum states is preserved by quantum linear systems. Multichannel photon-Gaussian states are defined via the action of certain creation and annihilation operators on Gaussian states. Our results show how the output states are determined from the input states through a pair of transfer function relations. We also provide equations from which output signal intensities can be computed. Examples from quantum optics are provided to illustrate the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1235
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Continuous mode single photon states
  • Gaussian states
  • Quantum linear systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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