Abstract

A phase-sharing scheme using the Mach–Zehnder interferometric setup is demonstrated. Two coherent light fields of the same wavelength which have orthogonal polarizations are used as sources at the two ends of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer. They are made to interfere independently at the opposing ends of the interferometer so that the phase estimated by two observers at the two opposing ends of the interferometer is nearly identical. The scheme could in principle be used by two observers to simultaneously monitor and study a phase object inserted in one of the arms of the interferometer. A pseudorandom phase plate which mimics atmospheric turbulence is inserted in one of the arms of the interferometer to demonstrate that such a phase-sharing scheme could be converted to a secret-key sharing scheme. Shared secret-key generation is demonstrated through evaluation of the phase correlates of the shared phase samples available at their respective ends. The shared random phases could also be used in a more direct manner by the respective observers for random phase encryption of images.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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