Some Physicists Love The Cat Metaphor

Erwin Schroedinger, the cat-metaphor man

Erwin Schroedinger’s playful metaphor about a cat that is simultaneously dead and alive (until the moment someone looks at it) lives on, in kittens, in occasional physics papers. This new paper, for example, deploys both a CAT STATE and a KITTEN STATE:

Photon added cat state: phase space structure and statistics,” Arman, Gargi Tyagi, Prasanta K. Panigrahi, Optics Letters, vol. 46, no. 5, 2021, p 1177.

The authors, at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, and a Amity University, India, write:

“The phase space structure and statistics of the photon added cat state are studied in the state’s general form. Photon addition leads to a π phase shift at the origin in the observed phase space interference of the Wigner function, which may serve as an error syndrome detector. The maxima and minima of the sub-Planck tiles in the phase space of the kitten state are interchanged after photon addition, leading to their orthogonality. Interestingly, photon addition to the Yurke-Stoler state characterized by Poissonian statistics leads to a sub-Poissonian distribution, which may find potential use in quantum noise reduction.”